Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi

Nearby points of interest

  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi
  1. Distance: 0.16mi
  2. Distance: 0.53mi
  3. Distance: 0.81mi
  4. Distance: 0.81mi

About Terra American Bistro

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.

7091 El Cajon
San Diego, CA 92115
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Dining Style:
Casual Dining

Cuisines:
Contemporary American, Tapas / Small Plates, Comfort Food

Hours of Operation:
Champagne Brunch: Sunday 9:00am - 2:00pm
Lunch: Monday - Friday 11:30am-2:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday - Sunday from 4:30pm

Cross Street:
El Cajon and 71st St

Dress Code:
Casual Dress

Price Range:
$30 and under

Payment Options
AMEX, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa

Phone Number:
(619) 293-7088

Website:
http://www.terrasd.com/

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.

Parking Details:
Street parking available and on weekends & evenings parking in business lots around restaurant.

Public Transit:
San Diego Trolley stop on 70th street.

Executive Chef:
Jeff Rossman

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

Additional:
Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Chef's Table, Corkage Fee, Counter Seating, Delivery, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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)

Terra American Bistro Ratings and Reviews

5
4
3
2
1

4.3

Overall Rating

based on recent ratings
food

4.5

service

4.3

ambience

4.0

value

4.1

Noise

Moderate

94% would recommend it to a friend

Local Ingredients (22)
Fit for Foodies (21)
Neighborhood Gem (20)
See All
Creative Cuisine (20)
Good for a Date (18)
Special Occasion (18)
Casual (18)
Healthy (15)
Authentic (11)
Comfort Food (10)
Organic (9)
Bar Seating (8)
Good for Anniversaries (8)
Gluten Free Options (8)
Handcrafted Cocktails (8)
Great for Lunch (8)
Worth the Drive (8)
Good for Birthdays (8)
Great for Brunch (7)
Cozy (7)
Good for Groups (7)
Happy Hour (7)
Quiet Conversation (6)
Seasonal (5)
Good Vegetarian Options (5)
Tapas (5)
Business Meals (4)
Kid-friendly (4)
Fun (4)
Notable Wine List (4)
Romantic (4)
Disabled Access (3)
Great Beer (3)
Quick Bite (3)
Tasting Menu (3)
Vegan (3)
Late-night Find (2)
People Watching (2)
Pre/post Theatre (2)
Sunday Lunch (2)
Vibrant Bar Scene (2)
Afternoon Coffee (1)
Hot Spot (1)
Great for Outdoor Dining (1)
Spicy (1)
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1286 reviews
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 (San Diego)·Dined 5 days ago

as always it's a great place to eat and have a drink.

Tags: Casual, Fit for Foodies, Quick Bite, Creative Cuisine, Bar Seating, Fun
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
·Dined 5 days ago

We eat here two to three times a year and have never been disappointed. Excellent food and service with menus that are seasonal. Keep up the good work!!!

Tags: Good for a Date
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined 6 days ago

We have eaten at Terra on many occasions and have never been disappointed. But this was not the place for Valentine's Day romance.

Tags: Special Occasion, Good for a Date
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food4
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

We love this restaurant. The food is always fresh and delicious and the presentation is excellent. Love the convenience and the neighborhood feel. Good service!

Tags: Pre/post Theatre, Neighborhood Gem, Good for Anniversaries, Romantic, Happy Hour, Fit for Foodies, Healthy, Casual, Great for Lunch, Good for a Date, Good for Birthdays, Organic, Good Vegetarian Options, Seasonal, Hot Spot, Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options, Worth the Drive, Disabled Access, Fun, Special Occasion, Spicy, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

I loved Terra my first time and will go back again and again. If you haven't you must try.

Tags: Tapas, Comfort Food, Fit for Foodies, Creative Cuisine, Casual, Gluten Free Options, Good for Anniversaries
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food5
ambience5
service4
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Exceptional food. Service was slightly under par.

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food5
ambience4
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 3, 2018

Great neighborhood restaurant with excellent farm-to-table options and creative dishes. Lots of options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free. Lots of small plates, salads, bowls. Simple but welcoming atmosphere with excellent service. The desserts are not to be missed, especially the banana bread pudding and brownie skillet.

Tags: Comfort Food, Local Ingredients, Vegan, Good Vegetarian Options, Creative Cuisine, Gluten Free Options, Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 2, 2018

Met A couple of friends there they were very quick to seat us and take care of us. We were able to order drinks right away while we waited for friends to get there. Dinner Was delicious and the service was great

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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on February 2, 2018

The hostess on duty was not very cordial but I have had another encounter with the same hostess with the same negative response. Our waiter was very charming professional and attentive. My husband had the pasta with Bolognese which was very tasty but greasy . I had the fish of the day, yellowtail and I can't say I loved it. It was accompanied by A generous portion of sautéed kale end it was almost unedible and very difficult to cut! I had to send it back. And he brought me a steak knife and told me that he had other complaints about it !
Normally the plates are very well composed. And delicious. It was just not up to it's usual
goodness. It was disappointing but we will return and hope it was just one of those off nights.

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food3
ambience3
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 28, 2018

The chef is careful to source local, organic as much as possible and is very conscientious about the health benefits of what he prepares. He has a creative kitchen. I try to go when it's not too noisy as the acoustics aren't helped by the fact that there are hard surface floors, ceiling and tables without cloths.

Tags: Healthy, Great for Lunch, Great for Brunch, Organic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 26, 2018

Loved the evening, as we always do when we dine at Terra. We had the option of the regular menu or the Restaurant Week menu (we forgot it was restaurant week!) Delicious!

1 person found this review helpful.
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 25, 2018

We had a wonderful evening at Terra American Bistro. Cocktails were innovative and refreshing. Our party of 5 enjoyed the Restaurant Week menu. We all tried different dishes which were all cooked to perfection and delicious. Dessert was outstanding including the delectable bread pudding. Everything does taste better with butter! The bartender, waitress and servers were excellent and we had great service.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Creative Cuisine, Happy Hour, Gluten Free Options, Fit for Foodies, Organic
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 24, 2018

Food was fresh and delicious. Service was excellent. Wine list was great value. We hadn’t been before so tried it during a Restaurant Week. We will definitely go back.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on January 24, 2018

We had a great time trying this place during restaurant week. We will definitely be back! They have some great weekly specials outlined on their website.

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 21, 2018

Delicious food, great service, interesting beers on tap, great cocktail. We will be back.

Tags: Good for Birthdays, Authentic, Great Beer, Kid-friendly
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 21, 2018

We went here for restaurant week and absolutely loved it. We didn't have a single thing that wasn't cooked perfectly. We've already made plans to come back for my Fiance's birthday when my family is in town in March. The regular menu was huge and looked just as good as the restaurant week menu. We had fun cocktails that were unique or had a twist to them. Very cute vibe inside. I would definitely recommend!

Tags: Business Meals, Healthy, Good for Birthdays, Pre/post Theatre, Creative Cuisine, Special Occasion, Bar Seating, Fun
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 21, 2018

Saw terra American bistro advertised for restaurant week and was excited to try it after reading their menu. We made reservations at noon and found our way there. It's kind of in a bad area, but the menu looked like it would be worth it. We were seated right away. After receiving the menus found out that they were not honoring restaurant week yet (even though the logo was stamped all over the menu), never the less, they were only serving lunch tues-fri on the special. We decided to stay and ordered a salad and iced tea. We waited and waited and waited.... could have died of thirst, the waitress still wasn't going to refill our tea. After 45 minutes, called the waitress over and she hadn't realized we didn't get our salads yet. About 5 minutes later, she returned to tell us the tickets were lost and could we remind her what we ordered so she could put it in again... we asked for the check. Completely ridiculous, not even an apology. This place doesn't even deserve the one star I gave it, but the scale won't go lower. I want my hour back!

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food1
ambience2
service1
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 21, 2018

I had a reservation for my birthday with a friend! I put in the notes that it was my birthday, but they did not recognize it. The server seemed way too overwhelmed and gave very poor service. The table next to me waited 45 minutes for their food and then the server went to check on it, it still hadn’t been made. The table was so upset they left their drinks on the table and left.
I didn’t mind waiting because the $6.50 bottomless mimosas were a steal and held us over until our food arrived. The food was great and the mimosas were never empty. Overall I would return but only because of the food (and mimosas).

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food5
ambience3
service1
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 17, 2018

I had the bass special off the Farm to Table Menu. It was amazing! My boyfriend had the Rigatoni Bolognese and the banana bread pudding for dessert which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately I could not try his dishes because they were not gluten free (but there are plenty of gluten free options). I would definitely recommend Terra. The food, service, and ambiance was great!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 9, 2018

Set a reservation for a birthday lunch for five for two birthday boys. Our waitress seemed to have a handle on things with taking our order, however 3 out of our party of 5 had things wrong or missing. It took 20 minutes to fully rectify a missing fried egg on a burger along with a side of cotija and Parmesan for a salad and mussels. The birthday boys also had liquidous whipped cream on their desserts which sat for 5 minutes in front of us before being tableaide.

I had hoped Terra would have knocked it out of the park after that... then our bill came. We were charged $33ish for a $16 bowl. Our waitress said she and management thought the computer had it wrong from restaurant week and gave us a comp instead of an accurate bill. That took another 10 minutes of waiting to figure out on their end.

Bummed and while I love the food, likely won’t be back.

Tags: Great for Lunch, Healthy
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food3
ambience4
service2
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 7, 2018

Our service was spectacularly terrible! Food was great, but we prob won’t be back.

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food5
ambience2
service1
value3

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 3, 2018

We enjoy the fresh ingredients and unique menu items. It can get quite loud sometimes so be prepared. My steak was medium, I ordered medium rare. My son enjoyed the lemon grass soda flavor but said it had too much 'string' in it.
On another occasion I had the lobster mac and cheese. It was good because I love lobster but the cheese sauce was not above a 3.5 star.
Every time they serve squash, they cook/serve it unpeeled...I don't like it.

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Casual
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food3
ambience4
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on January 3, 2018

The filet mignon was delicious , high quality meat cook to perfection!

Tags: Neighborhood Gem, Fit for Foodies, Good for Birthdays
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 31, 2017

I’ve been here a number of times and truly was never very impressed. This time was different! It was truly the best burger that I’ve had in probably 28 years since I used to eat my favorite in New York’s East Village. Charred on the outside and full
of flavor. I’m goin frack and I wish I could eat it right now!

Tags: Great for Lunch
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food4
ambience3
service3
value3

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 30, 2017

I love love love this place. Great food, friendly staff, and my go-to for any special occasion.

Tags: Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Good for Anniversaries, Great for Brunch, Neighborhood Gem, Handcrafted Cocktails, Casual, Local Ingredients, Good for Birthdays, Fit for Foodies
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 25, 2017

I had eaten at Terra many times in Hillcrest so I knew that this was the perfect place for Christmas since we no longer live in San Diego. I love the ingenuity of their menu ideas and the food is always just wonderful. Thank you for a very Merry Christmas dinner.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Tasting Menu, Local Ingredients, Notable Wine List, Authentic
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We ate our Christmas dinner here, had been there about three times prior. But surely our worse, and we won't return. Our waiter had conversations with a friend at the bar as we sat with no drinks. Sat a long time before we got appetizers, then got our drinks. Asked our waiter to slow things down. Then immediately got dinner before we were finished with apps. Told our waiter - he blamed the kitchen. We communicated with him prior to that - he should have communicated that to the kitchen. Then sat a long time before anyone cleared the table then brought out dessert. During this time the restaurant was not packed. Not sure why our service was so poor. Our waiter made no effort to apologize. So they lost a good customer, and have shared this information with friends.

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food3
ambience2
service1
value2

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on December 25, 2017

We visited Terra Bistro on Christmas day a couple of years ago and decided, rather last minute to do it again.
The menu selections were all amazing, delicious, and we'll presented.
Nick, our very special waiter treated us like royalty. I think that having dinner at Terra may be our regular Christmas tradition.

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Good for Anniversaries, Good for Birthdays, Notable Wine List, Disabled Access, Good for a Date, Special Occasion, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience4
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 25, 2017

Wait staff is friendly but non-intrusive.
Entrees are cooked to perfection.
Timing of service is well coordinated.

Tags: Local Ingredients, Quiet Conversation, Healthy, Organic, Special Occasion, Authentic, Creative Cuisine, Neighborhood Gem
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 24, 2017

Another amazing meal at Terra, we’ve been going since they first opened in the new location, never a disappointment!

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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 23, 2017

The pumpkin ravioli was to die for. The pork chop was delicious too! The happy hour prices were super reasonable!

Tags: Good for Groups, Authentic, Happy Hour, Bar Seating, Casual, Local Ingredients
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food4
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (Sacramento)·Dined on December 20, 2017

I ordered the steak. It tasted just OK, and it was tiny, maybe 3" square. It was the smallest steak I've ever seen, and it was expensive -- the price I'd expect to pay for a locally raised, premium,
normal sized steak. It was a disappointment.

I also needed to make sure my meal would be free of a food allergen, and instead of checking with the kitchen, the waitress just looked at the menu, didn't see the ingredient listed in my dinner selection (of course), and told me it'd be fine. Pushing further, I was able to find out that it was in fact in the sauce that would normally accompany the dish, so the kitchen served my dish minus the sauce.

The atmosphere was casual but nice, the clientele seemed relaxed and I suspect many were regulars.

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food1
ambience3
service2
value1

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on December 14, 2017

This is the best restaurant in the Rolando/west La Mesa area. We go there once a month or so even though there are a few good restaurants in the area. There just aren't many, so Terra is the local go-to. Always well-prepared Bistro-style food. Love this place.

Tags: Casual, Worth the Drive, Great Beer, Cozy
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food5
ambience4
service5
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 29, 2017

First time visit and rather surprised at location. However, pretty welcome on opening the door. All staff that we encountered were very nice, friendly and even gave my friend and me a "taster" of the soup which I ended up ordering to take home after a delightful light lunch. Never felt rushed and we stayed for a couple of hours chatting away! Mary and I'll be back soon. Incidentally, husband enjoyed the soup very much.... good sign.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Creative Cuisine, Good for Birthdays
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food4
ambience3
service4
value4

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 23, 2017

The reviewed meal was the special limited Thanksgiving menu. The food was outstanding. The only issue was that service was somewhat rushed. We have experienced that issue before at special occasion meals at Terra. We did get everything just as we wanted it, though!

Tags: Fit for Foodies, Healthy
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food5
ambience5
service4
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 23, 2017

We dined at Terra American Bistro to take advantage of their Thanksgiving Day special tasting menu, and had a terrific time.

One of us had the traditional Thanksgiving meal, with a generous service of turkey, corn bread stuffing, a warm cranberry drizzle, and roasted root vegetables - overall, this was very tasty! The other dish was Terra's fish special, which was Grouper. The menu stated that the fish was locally-sourced, but our server couldn't say where the fish came from. I don't recall seeing Grouper being locally-sourced in San Diego, but I could be wrong. Anyway, the dish was also very good, with the fish being cooked just right.

For drinks, one of us ordered a glass of wine from a pretty good list of choices. It was an $11.50 glass of Rodney Strong chardonnay, but was a very small pour in a very small wine glass.
A sore point with me is that Terra, as well as many other local restaurants, does not seem to get the message that we want local, small, and independent craft beer! There are so many choices in our area, that offering "Big Beer" such as Ballast Point or St. Archer should be a crime! Terra would do well to remove those beers from the restaurant's taps, and instead offer independent local beers.

Service was a little slow at times, and since it was a busy Thanksgiving Day, that's understandable (except for the loooonnngg wait for our check!)

Overall, the experience was excellent, the food very good, and the atmosphere was good for our day off from cooking on Thanksgiving Day - we'll definitely come back.

Tags: Handcrafted Cocktails, Vibrant Bar Scene, Comfort Food
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food5
ambience4
service4
value5

 
 (Los Angeles)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Excellent Thanksgiving dinner! We weren't expecting great food on a Thanksgiving night -- but the chef did an awesome job. I had grouper and my husband had the turkey. Christine always gives good service at the bar. I wouldn't mind coming back again next Thanksgiving.

Tags: Worth the Drive, Tapas, Quick Bite, Happy Hour, Notable Wine List
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 23, 2017

Good food is a given - turkey was moist & gravy excellent. Stuffing a big bland.
Great service as akways - Nick is a gem, and the woman busing - name escapes me, but she Honduran if I remember correctly - was really on the ball.

Tags: Good Vegetarian Options, Happy Hour, Worth the Drive, Quick Bite, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails, Local Ingredients
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food5
ambience3
service5
value4

vip
 (San Diego)·Dined on November 22, 2017

The happy hour is awesome for the small plates and great promotions throughout the week

Tags: Cozy, Good for a Date, Creative Cuisine, Comfort Food, Handcrafted Cocktails
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food5
ambience5
service5
value5

 
 (San Francisco)·Dined on November 18, 2017

We have been to Terra several times and always had a great meal and experience. This was unfortunately a little different experience. The wait staff, while friendly, was slow and not as responsive as normal. It was a Saturday night, however it did not appear to be overly busy. That said, it was the long wait time to get food, and my wife's salmon dish being under cooked that made the meal less then desirable. We do enjoy Terra and is a welcome addition to the area. We will go back and hope this was just an off day. Hey, it happens.

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food3
ambience4
service2
value3

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