Monday, September 28, 2015

Restaurant Review: Terun Pizzeria

Terun Pizzeria - dinner on September 11, 2015
In my continuing quest to try out new local restaurants, especially ones that make the Top 10 list for anything, I convinced my friend Jenny to try out Terun for our next dinner get together. Terun had made the list of Top 10 Pizzerias in the South Bay, a list where, between Jenny and me, we had tried out only 4 of them. Time to expand our culinary horizons.
The nice thing about Terun is it’s away from bustling University Ave with its plethora of restaurants but dearth of parking spaces. California Ave isn’t as densely populated with restaurants as University which also means you can actually find parking. When Jenny and I arrived, the restaurant was still fairly empty but was on track to be fully booked. We hadn’t made a reservation but, having arrived at 6 pm on a Friday, were told a table was available if we could wrap up by 7:30. An hour and a half seemed like a reasonable period for dinner and, added bonus, it was probably safe to assume we’d get prompt service since the restaurant had – bad pun intended – table stakes to get us served and whisked out the door on time.

Fried pizza dough appetizer
The menu offered a reasonable variety of Italian fare with its famous pizzas and pasta offerings. Jenny and I split an appetizer of fried pizza dough ($12, I know, I know but it was Friday, c’mon) and decided to share a pizza (that’s what we came for after all) and a pasta so we didn’t have to choose one or the other and could get both in. As with many of my friends, because I’m a picky eater and most of my friends are not, we worked out a reasonable approach on what to order.  We came to mutual agreement on which pizza to get (the Terun, $17)) and, for the pasta, she picked three for me to choose from that she would want to eat and I chose from her 3 options. Win-win. In this case, our waiter overheard our strategy and Jenny’s top 3 choices and of the 3, he recommended the Chittarine ($18) which was spinach spaghetti Bolognese. I’m not a huge fan of spinach spaghetti but what the heck, I decided to try it and ordered that for the pasta.
Terun pizza

Turned out to be the right choice because, much as we came for the pizza and it was good, it turned out I liked the Chitarrine even better. It wasn’t all that “spinach-y” and the sauce was nicely Bolognese-y to this carnivore. It was delicious. The manager (at least I think it was the manager) came over to see how we were enjoying our meal and he told us that used to be one of their specials that they had just made into a regular menu item because it was so popular. I can see why. Freakin’ delicious, I tell you.

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding
We didn’t finish all of the pizza but I did have the last bite of the spinach spaghetti Bolognese and I have no shame in saying so. I also had very little shame into being talked into getting dessert. We looked over the dessert menu, Jenny narrowed her choices down to the tiramisu and the chocolate chip bread pudding and I went with the bread pudding ($8). Another winning choice, if I may preen and say so. OMG, this thing was amazing. Just the right size for two people to share, served warm in a bowl of chilled vanilla cream (and you know I don’t really like cream but this was good) and just very excellent bread pudding. We did leave some in the bowl as we were both pretty full though. Next time I would skip the appetizer, go with just the pasta and get the bread pudding.

By the time we left Terun, it was overflowing with people. Literally. I’m glad we got there as early as we did; if we’d been any later, I’m not sure we would’ve waited for a table and then we would’ve missed out on an excellent dinner with wonderful service. Props to Terun. Even if it did mean I was so carbo-loaded from that dinner that I ran 5 miles the next morning in under 48 minutes. It was worth it.
P.S. I ended up going back to Terun a week later with another group of friends - had to get the Terun and the Chitarrine again but since we had more people, I also got to see what the lasagna and the San Daniele pizza was like. Lasagna was excellent although a bit on the small side when you split it four ways, ha. I actually didn't get to try the San Daniele as I wanted to save room for the bread pudding dessert again. But it looked good.
San Daniele Pizza

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