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Party Size
For 2
Date
Today
Time
7:00 PM
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Booked 6 times today

Terra American Bistro

4.6
1345 reviews
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$30 and under
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Contemporary American
Top Tags:
  • Neighborhood Gem
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Local Ingredients
Terra American Bistro began in Hillcrest May 1998 and has since moved to the East College District of Rolando. Chef/Owner and Cookbook Author Jeff Rossman supports local food purveyors and sources all ingredients carefully, with a commitment to buy all products that are cultivated sustainably and humanely. Terra specialties include Steamed Carlsbad Black Mussels, Chipotle Marinated Skirt Steak, Pumpkin Raviolis and Lobster Macaroni ‘n Cheese. This neighborhood Bistro serves up farm to table fare and offers the perfect combination of sophistication and casual elegance. The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food
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Hours of operation
Champagne Brunch: Sunday 9:00am - 2:00pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday from 4:30pm
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Phone number
(619) 293-7088
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Payment options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Jeff Rossman
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Private party facilities
small parties up to 16 can order off the menu and larger parties need to contact our banquet department for special menu with pricing. Private parties can buy out the restaurant or possibly host an event on Saturday afternoons or Monday evenings.
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Private party contact
Lisa or Jeff: (619) 993-1437
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Catering
Whatever the occasion, our goal is to make your event a complete success. With overflowing creativity and a gracious and dynamic staff, let Terra be your hospitality partner. We promise to exceed your expectations with an uncompromising commitment to perfection. Whether you are planning a simple luncheon or an elaborate six-course dinner, Chef/Owner Jeff Rossman will work with you from the start. He would be delighted to create a custom menu for you and your guests.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
El Cajon and 71st St
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Parking details
Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.
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Public transit
San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.
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Special events & promotions
Nightly Specials
4:30-6:30

Tuesday - $2 taco night, changes weekly
Wednesday - Wing night + corkage free night
Thursday Date Night - $39.95 dinner for 2(all night)
Friday Fish Fry - beer battered fish + chips $16
Saturday - mussels + a glass of house wine $14
Sunday Family Night - kids 10 + under eat free. one free meal with each paying adult(all night)
Additional
Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 1345 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.2
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
97% of people would recommend it to a friend
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2.0Dined 4 days ago

I had made a reservation days before and still had to wait about 30 minutes for a table which was a bit frustrating. But really enjoyed the food.

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5.0Dined 4 days ago

Love this place

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4.0Dined 5 days ago

I love terra. One of my favorite places in San Diego.
Wish the menu changed a bit more
They have awesome servers but never seem to be enough working
If you have never been it will be a treat

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

We had a wonderful experience. Our server was outstanding. I ordered the basil martini and was presently surprised how refreshing it was. My husband ordered his usual cocktail and was very pleased. Both our meals were delicious. We will definitely be back soon.

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5.0Dined on June 4, 2018

We love Terra! We've been coming here since it relocated to the La Mesa area. Having lived in Europe for many years and become accustomed to proper portion sizes and unrushed meals, we love to find places here that also reflect these kinds of dining experiences. Terra is such a place.

The occasion was my sister's birthday and I had requested a small recognition of this to make her feel special. They came through with a wonderful gooey butter cake for her.

We'll be back again soon!

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1.0Dined on June 3, 2018

The food tasted very bland. I’ve been here multiple times over the past three years, this time I was very disappointed. Hopefully they can correct whatever is going wrong. I had the specialty burger with peanut butter sauce, my husband had the short ribs. We both were a little disappointed in both of the selections. One thing that was great was the strawberry basil nonalcoholic drink that I had. May be a better place for drinks than food?

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5.0Dined on June 2, 2018

This was our third visit and we’ve never been disappointed. Good food, wine list and excellent service from Stacey! We’ll be back!

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5.0Dined on May 25, 2018

We ate at Terra before going to Moxie Theater. We tried the special dinner for two which was red snapper with kale and potatoes plus a dessert sampler. Dinner was delicious. Service was very good. A great place to enjoy dinner with lots of choices and food with a great blend of flavors.

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5.0Dined on May 19, 2018

So many unusual starters! The mussels are wonderful!

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5.0Dined on May 14, 2018

LOVE this place. I have eaten here many time for both lunch and dinner and have never been disappointed. I just had the fresh fish.. to die for, my son had the hanger steak and it was tender and juicy.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Great food and service but very noisy.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

Awesome Mother’s Day Brunch.

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3.0Dined on May 13, 2018

This was our second visit to Terra. Its in our area and has unique food choices so it was a nice choice for a Mother's Day dinner. The service was great - attentive and responsive. The food quality is mixed but mostly really good. Some things are very, very good and some things miss the mark. This was true both times we visited.

Apptetizers:
I had the special of the day appetizer of chicken pate with meyer lemon marmalade and the pate was dry and pretty tasteless. The best part of the dish was the baquette slices. :( The truffle fries were amazing and we all enjoyed them. The ketsup was delicious.

Dinner entrees:
The dinner entrees were all delicious and everyone enjoyed them. I had the seafood fettuccine and it was well prepared. A little too fishy for me but what did I expect! :)

My daughter had the hanger steak both times we visited and she ate it up. She is a picky teen so that's high praise.

My son really enjoyed the pork chop.

My husband always has salmon and the thought the Terra salmon was delicious.

The brocolini that was served as the vegetable on most of our plates was awful. We had to use the steak knife to cut it. Not sure if it was undercooked or what.

Dessert:
The pan brownie was heavenly. If you are a chocolate lover you will absolutely love this dish.

The butter cake not so much. It was tasty but really, really dry.

Overall, it was a good experience and I'll probably try the restaurant again. But, it wasn't one of those amazing dinners out where everything was well done.

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5.0Dined on May 13, 2018

FANTASTIC AS ALWAYS....BEST LITTLE GEM....GREAT STAFF AND WONDERFUL FOOD

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5.0Dined on May 12, 2018

This little gem is hidden in La Mesa, you would never expect such good food from the exterior. We eat here twice a month and have always enjoyed the food.

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4.0Dined on May 9, 2018

This was my second time for dinner, and like the first time, it was really good. We brought friends who enjoyed the food, as well. Both times I've ordered the pork chop which is excellent. The plated sides (mash potato, vegetable) are really tasty. The presentation of the food, especially my husband's pastrami sandwich, was outstanding.

Our waiter was pleasant and attentive, but we had to send him away a couple times while still deciding what to get and reading the extensive menus. When we put our menus down having made our decisions, we had to wait a good fifteen minutes or so before he came around again to take our order. I suppose we will have to decide faster next time.

The ambiance is nice, but at dinner time the seats next to the windows experience the stabbing light of the setting sun, including blinding reflections off cars and other objects outside. The shear blinds aren't really adequate for addressing this problem, and the wait staff seems not to notice squinting patrons trying to move awkwardly to keep the sun out of their eyes. One of the people we were with had to back against the window and hold his arm up for about 20 minutes to keep the sun coming in from the side of the shade from blinding his wife. Again, wait staff does not notice. At last, when the sun had set enough to not create blindness, our waiter came over & opening the blind entirely. It wasn't too bad, but still could have used the shade for a bit longer. He did not ask us if it was okay to open the blind, and we were the only people along the sunny wall.

Wish there were some less pricey wine selections. I think the least expensive glass of wine is $8.50, and there's only one of those. Most glasses were in the $10-$12 area, some more than that. I guess they don't have to worry about people over drinking at those prices, but I would prefer to get two glasses of wine for $12.

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5.0Dined on May 5, 2018

We totally enjoyed our dinners ranging from Salmon to delicious tender pot roast. WE loved the calamari and the nachos....Wow, what a range in choices but all tasty and perfectly prepared.

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5.0Dined on May 3, 2018

Another memorable meal with friends. Great food and great service. Love this wonderful place.

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5.0Dined on April 29, 2018

I'd been hearing about Terra for years and finally stopped in for Sunday brunch. Awesome bloody marys! Multiple boozes to choose from, I went with the Thai chile tequila and it was a beautiful level of spice to compliment the rest of the ingredients. Everything was wonderfully fresh and flavorful. I went with the short rib hash for my entreé. Melt-in-your-mouth short rib, beautifully poached eggs...so tasty! And the rosemary hollandaise did the trick for a non-hollandaise person like me...light and fresh. Liked it all so much I booked for Mother's Day brunch so my wife can experience it!

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5.0Dined on April 28, 2018

A go to for sure and its in our hood. We always enjoy our evening at the bar for happy hour and More. 😀

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5.0Dined on April 26, 2018

This restaurant is a hidden gem that exceeded my expectations. I will definitely return to this restaurant. :)

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3.0Dined on April 25, 2018

The food and drinks were incredible. Unfortunately, it was a pre-school fundraiser night so the place was packed with the under 5 years old crowd. Love the decor and food but for a $75 meal for two, would have preferred a different ambiance.

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5.0Dined on April 20, 2018

Another excellent food experience. The pastrami was outstanding and Colleen was wonderful!

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5.0Dined on April 17, 2018

We received the usual great service and farm to table food.

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4.0Dined on April 16, 2018

The food is locally sourced and delicious. It's a casual place where you can bring your whole family or on a date. I'm little bummed that the server or the restaurant didn't really show all the promotion the restaurant offers like fixed dinner menu. I found out later and I was disappointed.

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3.0Dined on April 15, 2018

Service not attentive and not so knowledgeable with wine selection: nice view and sittings: the filet mignon was ordered medium rare and came out cooked more. The scallops , nice size but tasteless

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4.0Dined on April 14, 2018

Quick Pick, local area all and all Loved It! I will go back and recommend to friends...

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5.0Dined on April 11, 2018

Amazing, as usual! Food and service are always on point! Thank you!

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5.0Dined on April 9, 2018

Always an innovative, healthy menu of mostly organic, locally sourced food.

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5.0Dined on April 7, 2018

Always a pleasant experience xperience
Christine at the bar is always a happy , accommodating and knowledgable professional ..

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5.0Dined on April 5, 2018

As usual the food was amazing and the service from Nick our waiter was exceptional. He is one of the reasons I love this restaurant!

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Had a reservation and were seating within 10 minutes of reservation time-good for Easter brunch! Food and specialty cocktail great; set menu for the holiday, but good selection and worth the cost. One disappointment, though...two individuals at my table wanted to order a specific entree and were told they were out of it. Then a large table, that came in and was seated after us, receiving their meals after us, received several plates of that very entree. Those in my group that wanted to order it felt misled and it didn't leave a good impression-even though their food was good.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Easter Brunch

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

We had a group of 6 for Easter Brunch. I liked the fixed menu instead of a buffet as there is more personal service. Our ages ranged from 8-68. There wasn't anything left on our plates so the food was great.

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4.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Love this place. A must for brunch.

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3.0Dined on April 1, 2018

I live in the neighborhood and appreciate that Terra is one of the few farm to table restaurants nearby. Although I have found the quality of the cooking inconsistent, I return because I need to eat GF, and like that there are GF options. I also appreciate that the food is fresh, seasonal and mostly? organic.

My 2 companions shared several appetizers and were happy. At dessert time, I chose the homemade vanilla ice-cream and had to send it back. It had no flavor, and the texture was crystallized as if it had been partially thawed and then refrozen. ( I had avoided the flourless chocolate cake as another possible GF dessert choice, because --compared to other offerings by that name,at other restaurants, the Terra offering is not very tasty--not very chocolate-y or cake-y. ) When asked by the hostess, how I enjoyed the meal, I explained my negative dessert experience and she kindly gave me a coupon good for a free dessert another time. I had also asked for only 2 vegetables, ( carrots and broccoli) instead of the stir fry with many vegetables, because I was allergic to some of them. The server told me she wrote down my request for the chef, but when the food arrived, the chef had not honored my request. We had an after dinner engagement, so there was no time to send the veggies back to see if they could get it right the 2nd time. It's a nuisance to have food allergies/sensitivities so I dont eat out too often. It takes a certain caliber of restaurant to cater to special needs. I had hoped Terra would be able to rise to the occasion. Sometimes, in the past, it has--but I haven't been able to count on it.

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5.0Dined on April 1, 2018

Food was good. Sometimes in their attempt to utilize the whole vegetable inedible/tough parts are served. Flavor combinations are unique which I enjoy. The blue mason jars for drinking add a nice pop of color.

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5.0Dined on March 31, 2018

A very nice experience! American comfort food has never had it so good!

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4.0Dined on March 31, 2018

Broccoli soup was too salty. Had the only fish available which was good but soy sauce was salty too. Disappointed.

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4.0Dined on March 29, 2018

It is difficult to have a conversation with table mates if the restaurant has one or two loud customers. This seems to always be the case. When one table is loud, others compensate by getting louder to be heard. There is nothing on the walls that absorbs noise, so it bounces all through the restaurant. Wish they could work on that problem.

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