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L.A. Foodies Message Board Restaurants, Carts & Food Truck Reviews › Restaurant Review - Della Terra

Restaurant Review - Della Terra

Group Organizer
Springfield, VT
Post #: 4,932
Restaurant Review - Della Terra. Last night I hosted an event here for a couple of reasons. 1) they had steak au poivre on the menu and 2) they had a Groupon deal so because of reason #1 I bought the groupon and scheduled an event there. Oh and 3) I saw on Yelp they had a 3 course prix fix dinner for like $15

$15 Three Course Meal!
Prosciutto bruschetta
Chicken Cacciatore
$6 glasses of wine; $4 beers on tap

So... While it is still advertised on Yelp today, they did not offer this deal! Not even the wine deal. Very bad business. Remove the deal if you are not going to have it. While I can understand that they might be getting hammered if lots of people choose this deal AND have a groupon, well... don't advertise a deal you are not going to honor!

Okay... the front of the house was fine/excellent, I felt like a fool as I had to call them several times to reduce the number in our party from around 24 down to 20, down to 16, down to 12... especially since they waived the credit card deposit requirement, which I don't accept as I host so many events I will not agree to it excepting a very rare occasion. The service was also fine and the complimentary flat bread and olives with a EVOO with basil, garlic and perhaps other spices was nice. The bus boy did a great job of keeping us in water and clean table. Which reminds me of one of my pet peeves. When a bus boy takes our used plates, leaves our used silverware, wipes down the table with some used towel that's been is service who knows how long... it make me cringe that they put my silverware back down on the bare table. What happened to the good ole days of placemats? Or else white tablecloths? My dinner cost over $50 and I got neither! This is a general rant, not just Della Terra as MANY restaurants do this! Or, if you are going to wipe down the table, give me a new setup of flatware wrapped in a napkin so that I don't feel like I'm eating off 10 dirty tables... end rant...

Food: I ordered the steak au poivre for the first time in a restaurant. I had high hopes because I've made this at home probably a dozen times and it was absolutely delicious every time. The first time, I was freakin' amazed how good it tasted. To be fair, I used a Julia Childs recipe with a few slight variations to make it my own... i.e. I use at least four different types of peppercorns (black/white/fresh green/Sichuan), heavily crusted and I used French Cognac and heavy cream per the recipe. I've also used creme fraiche when I didn't have the cream on hand with equally excellent results. So... I was hoping that a restaurant would whip up a steak superior to my home cooking. Wrong. I use about 200-300+ peppercorns at home and on my steak there was less than a dozen. There was no evidence of a creamy sauce or taste of Cognac in my filet mignon. I ordered it med/rare and the meat was cooked properly, but it tasted like it was grilled, not pan sauteed as it had a bad taste of lighter fluid or something. The meat was fork tender but the flavor was miles from what I've come to expect the dish to taste like. The side of fries was a generous portion, but slightly oversalted, but not so much so that I had to send back. I really should have sent back my steak au poivre as I was really disappointed. I suspect that my home cooked version tastes so good, made this dish taste so bad. My wine was so so and we shared a procuitto ham and burrata cheese pizza which was difficult to eat as the ham was whole slices and didn't have the usual salty flavor I've come to expect for a procuitto de Parma as listed on the menu so I suspect they used a less expensive procuitto.

Here's my version...

Of course it might be considered over the top with rice, bok choy, king oyster mushrooms, red bell peppers, sauteed onions, etc...

The restaurant is beautiful inside and out on the patio which I chose because there is less ambient noise and our group of 12 got the 3 tables closest to the space heaters so I was quite comfy and warm in short sleeves. There is yet another outside patio that apparently they allow smoking and the rest of my table left when they got smoked out by a table of 20's something girls. I also checked out the private wine cellar dining room that seats up to 16 and it looked really nice. But I'd max it out at 14 not 16. And, it's not really a cellar as it's the same level as the entire restaurant and it's completely private. I dunno... I like to people watch and there were lots of pretty people dining there, however it was a bit too noisy in the main dining area for me. They also have a nice big bar area as well. The bathroom is nice and modern and clean as well. Parking was easy to find metered street parking or you could valet park your car.

In summary, the best I could give this restaurant is only 2 stars using the Yelp scale as the food was below average and for the price I paid, well below average. Some of their other dishes were fine such as the shrimp risotto which tasted delicious. I suppose I just ordered a dish the chef doesn't know how to cook well. I suppose I'd back in a group of 14 to dine in the cellar room and if we could get the prix fixe deal, but... no steak au poivre for me here. Maybe it's my fault for ordering a French dish from an Italian restaurant? Like ordering seafood in Iowa?

Della Terra
7675 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-7675
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 19
Hi Darrell:

I agree about your comment re: silverware on bare tables.. Gross.. These are the same tables where they stack the chairs on, legs down, later that night. So you're also eating off the floor technically speaking.. It's not too difficult to lay down a dinner napkin and lay the cutlery on top.

Re: the Steak au Poivre - definitely not an Italian dish so maybe it was just the wrong dish to order there. They don't typically cook with Cognac and cream that I know of. If you want a great one, check out Chez Mimi in Santa Monica when they re-open as they're apparently relocating. French-Canadian place, it's the descendant of the great Chez Helene from Beverly Hills (Lots of great write-ups online about both places).

And I guess the Smoking "party" at restaurants in LA should end soon!
March 1, 2011: No more smoking outdoors!! Yay! ))
- http://clkrep.lacity....­
- http://latimesblogs.l...­

A former member
Post #: 9
Darrell -

I just want to add that while I don't like to add salt to anything, it seemed that the food had absolutely no salt at all. As for the pizza - truly odd - I've never had to actually use a knife and fork - but the prosciutto was just one piece and so large that I did have to cut up my pizza.

Bar was beautiful - but no hard liquor at all - kind of a drag for someone who likes vodka.

Hey - the water with lemon was just delicious!

Thanks for the event Darrell - even though the food was not spectacular - I had a lovely time,
Group Organizer
Springfield, VT
Post #: 4,937
"Christian "Re: the Steak au Poivre - definitely not an Italian dish so maybe it was just the wrong dish to order there. They don't typically cook with Cognac and cream that I know of. If you want a great one, check out Chez Mimi in Santa Monica when they re-open as they're apparently relocating. French-Canadian place, it's the descendant of the great Chez Helene from Beverly Hills (Lots of great write-ups online about both places).

Ah... Chez Helene... Her original restaurant was in Venice on Abbot Kinney about 5 blocks from my old office in MdR... I LOVED her food! Her tomato mushroom soup was too die for! For years and even to this day, I've been trying to recreate a soup as good as her's without success. I now have made a soup that tastes really good, but I think her's is still probably better. But it's been over 10 years since I've dined at the BH location so maybe I need to refresh my memory. I just remember my eyeballs rolling to the back of my head the first time I had her soup with that hot crusty baguette bread with melted butter. Her country French food was exquisite! Her prices were so reasonable as well back in the late 80's. Funny, I cannot remember any of the entrees... just that the food was good. I can only recall specifically the bread and the soup! It sucks growing old...
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