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  5. La Mesa
Terra American Bistro, San Diego, CA
This restaurant now offers Takeout

This restaurant now offers Takeout

Bring the restaurant to you. Order and pay for food directly on OpenTable.

Terra American Bistro

4.5
4.5
1526 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American
After a 3 Year hiatus on Opentable....they're back!!

Terra American Bistro and Chef Jeff Rossman have been binging the Farm To Table-Modern American Bistro experience to San Diegans for over 25 years now. Having relocated from Hillcrest to the East College area close to SDSU 11 years ago, the rotating menu features local fish procured from Tommy The Fishmonger @ Tunaville and local farm fresh produce from the bounty of San Diego County. Featured menu items include 12 Hour Braised Short Rib, Grilled Flat Iron Steak Chimichurri, Roasted Salmon with Herb oil, Terra's Wagyu Burgers, Nashville Chicken Sandwich and the famous Banana Bread Pudding with Jim Beam Butterscotch! The team’s ambition at Terra is to create a relaxed and casual atmosphere to enjoy great food, local craft beer & wine. Terra has many awards for best neighborhood joint: it's where the locals go!!

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 1 time today

Order delivery or takeout

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Thu 4:30 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Tue–Sat 4:30 pm–6:30 pm
  • Phone number
    (619) 293-7088
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Executive chef
    Jeff Rossman
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Private party contact
    Lisa or Jeff: (619) 993-1437
  • Neighborhood
    La Mesa
  • Cross street
    El Cajon and 71st St
  • Parking details
    Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.
  • Public transit
    San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 1,526 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

4.5
4.5 based on recent ratings
  • 4.7Food
  • 4.7Service
  • 4.3Ambience
  • 4.5Value

NoiseModerate

Loved For

  • San Diego

    Contemporary American

  • East County

    Best Food

  • East County

    Best Value

  • East County

    Kid-friendly

  • East County

    Healthy

  • East County

    Neighborhood gem

  • East County

    Lively

1,526 Reviews
  1. Jojo

    San Diego

    55 reviews

    5.0

    55 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We totally enjoyed our dinner which ranged from a fried chicken sandwich, short rib farfalle Pasta, red wine braised short rib and roasted salmon. All entrees were cooked to perfection and were seasoned perfectly as well. The waitress Kara made our night special. She was efficient, friendly, checked on us and timed the appetizers to the dinner to the dessert perfectly. We had been unable to visit Terra as often as we have in the past but promise to return sooner this time around. Our family loves Terra and appreciates the dedication it takes to keep offering entrees that are farm fresh and sustainable, plus create dishes that are appetizing and delicious over and over again through the years.

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  2. RaquelT

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on May 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    My husband and I moved to La Mesa about a year ago. Since then, we have become “regulars” at Terra. Their staff (Cetacea, David, Kara and her daughter) is very attentive, friendly and Cetacea’s cocktails are the BEST!!! We love coming here and bringing our friends and family when they visit.

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  3. WillnAli

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on May 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    The prices are decent. The food is delicious and is presented nicely. Service is wonderful, very polite and attentive!

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  4. CherylB

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on May 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food and service. We eat here frequently and use it for family celebrations.

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  5. ElizabethA

    San Diego

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The menu just changed. I tried the Thai chicken lettuce wraps and the lemon crème brûlée. Both were very good. I also had one of the Star Wars themed cocktails and it was really good. I’ll definitely be back.

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  6. QueenLily

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on April 24, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Amazing food, amazing drinks! We will be back soon.

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  7. MarkC

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 12, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Overall great experience. Sat us right away at the Table for 6. Great Service.

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  8. Pearlcharm

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    5.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on April 11, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Delicious fresh food and the staff are great. The food was cooked perfectly.

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  9. snook12

    San Diego

    16 reviews

    5.0

    16 reviews

    Dined on March 23, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Outstanding meal. Not unusual for Terra. We’ve been dining at Terra since it took over the spot in Hillcrest where Cains was in Uptown Center.

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  10. RonR

    San Diego

    4 reviews

    4.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on March 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Great hidden gem tucked away off the main street. Good food, tried it for restaurant week but also ordered some appetizers off the main menu. Brie appetizer and dirty fries are both worth it!

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  11. SanDiegobag

    San Diego

    57 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    57 reviews

    Dined on March 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Love Terra! It's a great neighborhood spot. Always go there before Moxie. I wish it was open on Sundays!

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  12. CarlD

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food we had was excellent from appetizers to the deserts

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  13. ElizabethA

    San Diego

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on March 10, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Despite it being a very busy Saturday nite during restaurant week, service was friendly and efficient. The food was delicious and well prepared. I’ll be back again to dine from their regular menu.

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  14. ChristinaVW

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on March 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We were there for restaurant week this year, and the food was delicious. The service was impeccable, and they just were so accommodating. really appreciate them understanding we aren’t desert eaters and allowing us to make some modifications really went along way for us. Thank you so much for a great dining experience, and the food was over-the-top delicious

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on March 7, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our server, David was amazing. He was friendly and funny and attentive. Our food was so good. We had the short rib the fillet and banana pudding and a wonderful espresso martini.

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  16. RickB

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on February 18, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Five star food in a casual atmosphere at fair prices. This place is great and the staff is super.

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  17. JoseL

    San Diego

    15 reviews

    4.0

    15 reviews

    Dined on February 17, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Food is made with care and well done. It may be a small restaurant, but it has ambitions. I like that. Lots of gluten free options. People from the area come to have drinks at the bar. Couples and families.

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  18. PamP

    San Diego

    31 reviews

    vip
    2.0

    31 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 2
    4. Ambience 4
    I hate to give Terra a bad review. We've eaten here many times and always loved the food, service, and ambience. But we picked it for Valentine's Day......big mistake. It's probably why we haven't gone out on Valentine's Day for many years (we've been married for 47 years!) But, heck, one of our favorite restaurants?? Let's go! We had 7:15 reservations, and got there at 7:10. And waited until 8:10 for a table. We couldn't even sit at the bar. FINALLY got a table, and then waited there for 10 minutes to be greeted by the waiter. Someone brought the first course (cheese fondue) for us to share. Then, I had a chance to order a Valentine's Cocktail...But we had to order the remainder of the prix fixe menu right then. I asked the waiter -- twice -- to hold off on bringing more courses until we had a chance to enjoy our cocktail. I asked twice and he said no problem. BUT.... a few minutes later, our next course comes -- and no cocktail. I was stunned (we still had the cheese fondue) and the waiter came by and apologized, but really, I wasn't ready and we were SO RUSHED!!! The waiter knew I was upset and then took the next course away so I could have my cocktail. But my husband had his asparagus bisque. They then brought my next course, which was a ravioli with lemon and a sauce. This was a wonderful course -- my favorite. Then, quickly, our next course came. I had the fresh fish, which was told was halibut, but I question it. It was dry and lukewarm. The sauce was good, but..... Nothing special. We finished with the berry tart, which was fine. All in all, we felt rushed throughout the evening. There was a note on our table saying to limit the time to 1 - 1 1/2 hours because of Valentine's Day. Very disappointing. We were out of there in 50 minutes. Moral of the story: stay home for Valentine's Day. Go to Terra on another day. And the regular servers were not working??? Wha' happened??

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  19. JimG

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Everything was wonderful and outstanding. David our server was fantastic. The only reason we marked service down a little is because it took about 20 minutes to get our drinks from the bar (not the server's fault). We love Terra and will for sure be back.

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  20. AndreB

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    The food was wonderful. Our waiter Spencer was new, but was working really hard at his new craft. He was awesome. He said that he came from catering and was helping out. The restaurant was very busy, it was valentines day. We weren't rushed even though they were booked up. My wife and I had a very nice dinner. Thank you

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  21. ShirleyL

    San Diego

    14 reviews

    vip
    3.0

    14 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    A bit disappointed at Terra for Valentine's celebration. I had requested a table along the perimeter which wasn't offerred even when I reminded of my request and a table was available. The beginning course of fondue was marginal and presented poorly. The soup/salad/ and main courses were good but not great. The dessert was nothing special although the two macarons were tasty. The cocktail was tasty. The noise level was high and not conducive to a romantic dinner. The hospitality was far from gracious. Perhaps that's what to expect on a busy night such as Valentine's Day. Nevertheless, we won't be returning next year.

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  22. LisaB

    San Diego

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on February 15, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Beautifully decorated for Valentine’s Day and the special menu was outstanding!

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  23. Alagria

    San Diego

    18 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    18 reviews

    Dined on February 10, 2024

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    Fantastic food at a more or less reasonable price. The restaurant has no ambience at all - concrete flood and metal chairs and tables crammed into too small of a place. Not nearly enough servers. However, the food is so delicious we plan to return.

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  24. KimC

    San Diego

    30 reviews

    5.0

    30 reviews

    Dined on February 8, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Ordered one of the early bird specials. Server was very pleasant, friendly and efficient even once the restaurant was busy. Food was great.

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  25. MehulP

    San Francisco

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on January 28, 2024

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Love coming here, food is very good, staff is friendly, nice relaxing place for a meal!

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  26. live2savor

    San Diego

    27 reviews

    5.0

    27 reviews

    Dined on December 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our table of three met here to celebrate a birthday and enjoy a pre-theater dinner. We appreciated the various dining options available at the early dinner hour. The calamari, baked brie, seafood bowtie pasta, and salmon sliders were all delicious. The celebrant even received a complimentary dessert! The hostess and servers were all friendly and accommodating. Terra is a gem in this neighborhood.

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  27. Cindy

    San Diego

    57 reviews

    5.0

    57 reviews

    Dined on December 24, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Terra is a cute, little bistro with excellent service and delicious food. Well priced. The baked Brie is served in a hot skillet with an ample, warm baguette. The baked salmon entree and the short rib pasta were both really, really good. The vanilla scoop of ice cream was the creamiest we’ve ever had and the perfect finale. Loved our dinner at Terra.

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  28. RobertW

    San Diego

    56 reviews

    4.0

    56 reviews

    Dined on December 17, 2023

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    We started going here during Covid with pick up. Love the In-dining experience. Our short-rib/Gorgonzola pasta and Mac and Cheese with bacon were terrific. The beet and strawberry sorbet was the pièce de resistance. Service was friendly and attentive. What a gem!

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  29. JeanneR

    San Diego

    6 reviews

    5.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on December 9, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Simply said: Excellent! The service is lovely, wine choices delicious, but if you love beef dishes,..Grandma’s brisket will send you to heaven and back with each sumptuous tender bite! Don’t miss it…

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  30. CherylB

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on December 8, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent service, delicious food, and we could hear our conversations.

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  31. John

    San Diego

    41 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    41 reviews

    Dined on November 25, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We went to Terra on the evening after Thanksgiving to celebrate my birthday. the staff were friendly, the food was amazing and it all made for a lovely birthday. All of the staff wished me a Happy Birthday. This a great place to celebrate any occasion.

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  32. gaiters

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on November 19, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everything on the menu is worth a try! Very friendly service, and the bread pudding is to die for!

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  33. Sdfoodlover

    San Diego

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Excellent food and great service. Highly recommended

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  34. ElizabethA

    San Diego

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on November 11, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    The restaurant was very crowded and one of the servers called in sick. Despite being short handed, and noisy with celebrations, the food was amazing. I try to get the specials when I’m here and the soup was so flavorful and the hamachi appetizer was delicious! Service was a bit slow but the food more than made up for it.

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  35. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    5 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    5 reviews

    Dined on November 5, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    This is a cool little gem hidden on El Cajon blvd

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  36. DynamicDuo

    San Diego

    37 reviews

    5.0

    37 reviews

    Dined on October 29, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great neighborhood gem. The food and service is always excellent. Chef Jeff adds delectable touches to his meals at all levels. They also have great gluten-free choices for those of us who need them. Bartender Satatia loves to create new libations for the seasons that are fantastic!

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  37. ElizabethA

    San Diego

    26 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    The food was great! The soup was flavorful, the witch’s brew cocktail was fun and tasty. The Asian bowl was my entree and it was good and I had the option of which protein to get. I usually get their Brussels sprouts which is hysterical since I thought I didn’t like them until I tried them here. And the pumpkin ravioli is a seasonal item that I definitely will get while they still have them on the menu. Treat yourself and try something new…

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  38. tohlsson

    San Diego

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 28, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Absolutely outstanding! Food was great, drinks were good too. Grat little place. Hard to tell from outside, but this place is one of those gems. Try it!

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  39. RickB

    San Diego

    12 reviews

    5.0

    12 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Terra American Bistro is always five star food at a value price. Specialty cocktails are excellent and worth the money.

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  40. OpenTable Diner

    San Diego

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 20, 2023

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Great food & ambience. Definitely will be back to try other dishes.

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FAQs

Terra American Bistro offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (619) 293-7088.

Terra American Bistro is rated 4.5 stars by 1526 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

Make a reservation

2 people

7:00 PM


Booked 1 time today

Order delivery or takeout

Google Map for Terra American Bistro

7091 El Cajon, San Diego, CA 92115

Dining areas

Additional information

  • Cross street
    El Cajon and 71st St
  • Neighborhood
    La Mesa
  • Hours of operation
    Dinner Tue–Thu 4:30 pm–8:00 pm Fri, Sat 4:30 pm–9:00 pm Happy Hour Tue–Sat 4:30 pm–6:30 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking details
    Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.
  • Public transit
    San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.
  • Payment options
    AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
  • Executive chef
    Jeff Rossman
  • Additional
    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Options, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (619) 293-7088
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Private party contact
    Lisa or Jeff: (619) 993-1437
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