Unique vibes and fair prices make LA's new Italian New York-like spot, Della Terra, a great place to throw a private party, dine al fresco, belly up to the bar, and brunch (prix-fixe Champagne menu coming in June).The Grubdown:
- addictive, refillable Complimentary Olives Topped with zesty Orange Rind, warm Flatbread & not-too-garlicky Pesto Sauce
- fresh, delicate, a bit under-seasoned Tuna Tartare with Fennel, Shaved Capers & Microgreens
- perfectly al dente, tasty tomato meat sauce that's heart-warming but a teensy tough Penne Bolognese
- eye-candy rich Black Truffle Spaghetti Tartufi
- farmers market fresh Melanzana Pizza with Eggplant, Broccolini, Garlic & Pesto
- might be too light Fresca Margherita Pizza with impressively large caneles of fresh Burrata Cheese
- tart 'n sweet Berry Bread Pudding with Dulce De Leche Gelato
- huge, chunky apple strawberry Sangria
I visited Della Terra, located on the corner of Beverly & Spaulding near The Grove, for a monthly Girls Dining Night. Owner Franco Brunetti describes it as a "Tuscan trattoria with a unique blend of New York sophistication and California casual." Walk through the enclosed heated patio, and you're immediately greeted by a tall red brick wall to the left, and a 15-seater dark wood wrap-around bar to the right. Sounds of Lounge music fill the air, as well as the aroma of fresh-baked pizza from the imported wood-fired oven in the distance. To the left of the oven is a small wrought-iron door, which opens into a 16-seater private dining room called The Cellar. Back towards the front, a large table and booth allow parties to enjoy views through the floor to ceiling windows.
Promptly after being seated in the booth, all 5 of us experienced some great service from our server, Lea. She showed us the list of wines from South America, Spain, Italy, France, and U.S., and let us taste as many as we liked until we found the right one. (By-the-glass prices range from $7-25). Two of us decided to go with the Sangria ($8) and we were glad we did – it's got big chunks of apples and strawberries and is served in a HUGE goblet. The bar also has 7 beers on tap, including Belgian favorite Chimay ($8).
Regarding the "Mangia, Mangia," an assortment of Olives topped with Orange Rind, warm Flatbread, and a finely chopped, not-too-garlicky Pesto Sauce are served complimentary – and refilled too. The Tuna Tartare ($12) appetizer with Fennel, Shaved Capers, and Microgreens is fresh and delicate, but could use a little more seasoning.
For the pasta dishes, the Penne Bolognese ($14) is perfectly al dente, the hearty Tomato Sauce is a tease, the Meat's a little tough, but it's still super satisfying. The Spaghetti Tartufi ($22) has a mind-blowing eye-candy display of rich Black Truffles, but unless you eat it hot, all you'll taste are oil-bathed noodles.
From the 9 types of 6-slice baked-to-order pizzas, the Melanzana ($10) served with Eggplant, Broccolini, Garlic, and Pesto is light, farmers market fresh, and addictive. The Fresca Margherita ($12) with impressively large caneles of fresh Burrata cheese, for me, leaves a bit to be desired since the Bruscetta-style sauce is too light – but that didn't stop the girls from gobbling it up.
And, the berries in the Bread Pudding ($6) give it the perfect tangy zing needed to counter balance the sweet Dulce De Leche Gelato.
Della Terra's excellent service, high quality ingredients, and fair prices make this welcoming location a definite go-to or take-out.
Stay tuned @DellaTerra_LA for updates on their new prix-fixe Champagne Brunch coming soon this June.