You've stumbled (back) onto mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Today, Cathy is writing while Kirk is enjoying a bit of a vacation and Ed (from Yuma) is enjoying a bit of Yuma.
Below is a photo of Terra American Bistro, its parking area and entrance door. The photo was taken from 70th Street. Those other buildings you see are on the North side of El Cajon Boulevard. Two more blocks East and you are in La Mesa. A lot of people think that Terra (which was on Vermont Street in Hillcrest from 1998 until the move here in 2011) is in La Mesa (and therefore "East County"), but according to the post office and various maps, the City location is San Diego.
In any case, once you've found this Farm to Table gem which focuses on local, sustainable and organic ingredients, you will be impressed with the comfortable interior. I have no story as to why we decided to eat here: we were passing by following an errand, saw it was open, were hungry and just stopped.
The small waiting area wall is lined with various newspaper articles, photos and awards as well as an enlarged photo on canvas that is the cover of From Terra's Kitchen, Chef Jeff's cookbook.
There is a chalkboard listing Daily Specials just above the Hostess Stand.
The regular lunch menu and specials menu are simple and concentrate on currently available ingredients.
The Beverage Menu is on the opposite side of the regular menu. The fruit and herb-infused vodkas are made in house and I have heard only good things about the hand crafted non-alcoholic beverages.
The table decor is simple yet elegant.
We chose to share a mini jar of chicken liver ($8.50), made with thyme, brandy and onion and served with a flavorful grilled bread. This was *wonderful* and really quite large.
The Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese salad ($9) was so very fresh and flavorful. Those are toasted hazelnuts and a miso-based dressing accompanying the vast array of fresh lettuces.
One of the lunch specials-Beer battered fresh local Ling Cod served with thin, crispy bistro fries and a really nice citrus slaw ($11). A house-made sort of tartar sauce made with lemon and capers was very complimentary to the fish (and its light, crispy batter). Of course the catsup was house made.
Terra is a wonderful, down to earth yet elegant restaurant serving fresh food and with wonderful service, located very close to the border that is considered "East County". It is very nice for a lunch, brunch or fancy dinner.
Terra American Bistro 7091 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego 92115(619) 293-7088 Website Open Monday 11:30-2, Tues-Wed-Thurs 11:30-9, Fri 11:30-10, Sat 4:30-10, Sun 9-9