Terroni Downtown (Los Angeles, CA)
Terroni Downtown LA
802 S Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Dining date: 11/16/13
Terroni has been on my list of restaurants to try for some time now. I first tried a sampling of the restaurant at The Taste 2011, where they were making a selection of their pastas fresh on the spot. The Toronto-based chain has had a location opened on Beverly in mid-city for a number of years, but recently opened up in a huge space downtown.
My visit to Terroni was unplanned. Initially, we were planning to visit new ‘Chinese gastropub’ Peking Tavern but found it closed for a private party. Terroni shares the same building so it was an easy choice for an alternative stop. Given it was noon on a weekend, Terroni was serving up their brunch menu. I don’t like eating brunch as my first visit to a restaurant, but they still offered their extensive full menu (a long list of appetizers, salads, pastas and pizzas).
We ordered a pizza off the brunch menu and focused in on some of the regular menu items for the rest of the meal.
Bread, upon request. Nothing special; I restrained myself from eating too much of it given the carbs to follow.
Arancini di Modica deep fried rice cones stuffed with cheese and meat ragu
Our lone appetizer were these arancini; it had a great crust with a comforting ragu-rice mixture on the inside. If there was one drawback though, it was the cheese which didn’t get hot enough to fully melt.
Pizza Norcina white pizza with burrata, mascarpone, fresh sausage, egg, fresh black truffles
This was a beautiful brunch pizza, left uncut in the traditional Italian style. The egg in the center was cooked perfectly, yielding a bit of runny yolk over each slice. The sausage and earthy truffle flavor were both delicious making a pretty solid pizza overall; if anything, I wanted just a bit more sausage so I could have a little bit in each bite.
With the completion of the appetizer and pizza, we moved on to a duo of pastas.
Bucatini all’Amatriciana bucatini with guanciale, onions, tomato sauce, little spice, extra-virgin olive oil and pecorino
I really like bucatini in general – the texture was really nice here. The sauce was slightly spicy and definitely porky, but became somewhat monotonous after a number of mouthfuls.
Tagliolini in Canna a Mare tagliolini with fresh clams, fresh mussels, calamari, scallops and tiger shrimp in a light tomato sauce
I liked this tagliolini better as the variety of seafood kept things more interesting. The seafood was mostly cooked well, but I found some to be slightly overdone. The pasta was good too, though I couldn’t really tell a difference in the use of fresh pasta versus dried.
I mostly enjoyed my first trip to Terroni. Minor faults in each dish held the restaurant back from other favorite Italian restaurants downtown, but it was a strong enough showing to consider coming back for dinner and trying more of the menu.
Maccheroni Republic or Terroni? From this review, I’m guessing the former…
Yes, the former. If something with nicer ambiance is desired or it’s a bigger party (and Bestia is completely full), Terroni would work too. The menu’s much larger so it might be more approachable from that perspective.