DTLA: First Look at Terroni Downtown
I’m always excited about new restaurants in Downtown opening. I have been to the Terroni in Mid-City before and was looking forward to the pastas and pizza in Downtown. I would pass by the spot almost every day watching the process. It’s on the other side of the building where The Parish is located at that odd triangular junction where Main and Spring meet.
I finally made it in the other night but we had just eaten dinner so we checked out Terroni’s bar which you immediately stumble into as soon as you pass through the front doors. The communal table by the front door is disturbingly close and makes the room feel smaller than it should be considering the dining room is quite big. You just have to go around the bar and the DJ booth to get to it. Upstairs are a couple of private dining rooms including an enclosed wine room with a giant stuffed boar’s head on the table.
We picked a spot off to the side of the bar. Our view of was mainly the glassware but we would catch a glimpse of everyone who walked in. I ordered a Terroni Sour (Kentucky vintage bourbon, lemon, egg white, Barolo Chinato float). Although in a pretty glass, the use of shell ice was shocking to me. For a cocktail that’s $12, I expected better. I debate with friends occasionally if $12 cocktails are really worth $12. If this supposedly “vintage” bourbon is of quality stuff and I do love that rather expensive Barolo Chinato, then why ruin your drink with bad ice? It melted so fast, that you really had to suck that drink quickly so it wouldn’t get diluted so much. If I didn’t read there was egg white in the drink, I wouldn’t have thought it was in my drink since there was barely any fizz.
The rest of the cocktails list is fairly limited with 3 aperitivo (aperitif in Italian) drinks and 5 under cocktails including Monte Carlo and Pimm’s Cup. The spirits selection on the wine heavy backbar seemed carefully curated so maybe a good shot of whiskey or tequila would do if you’re not feeling a cocktail.
My friend had the Negroni. It’s one of those classics I love and order somewhat frequently. This was a fairly standard rendition. I probably could have used a tiny bit more bitterness but the shell ice diluted the drink a lot.
The plates of pasta and pizzas we saw looked good but we weren’t tempted to try as the service was severely lacking. For a new restaurant, this place wasn’t selling itself very well. The three bartenders and 2 bar backs stood around chatting. They weren’t interacting with their guests and we felt neglected. We ended up going next door to the Parish where we met a charming bartender new to our city. She reminded me of what hospitality really was and why I go to bars. I can make myself drinks at home but I go to restaurants and bars for an experience.
I’ll probably return for the food but I’ll be getting a glass of wine next time.
802 S Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 — 323-954-0300
© The Minty 2013