Facebook Logo Twitter Logo Pinterest Logo

Nut Gourmet Blog Logo

only search Vegetarians in Paradise
VIP Bird
VIP Banner
Fill out your e-mail address to receive our newsletter!
*E-mail address:
*First Name:
Last Name:
Please let us know your location for special events:
USA:
Los Angeles:
International
(Outside USA):
Subscribe Unsubscribe
 



***************************************

Vegan for the Holidays


Click Here for Special Purchase Price


Contents
.

Translate This Page

sphere Homepage

sphere News from the Nest

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Blog

sphere Vegan for the Holidays Videos

sphere Zel Allen's NutGourmet Blog

About Us

Cookbooks

Food History/Nutrition/Recipes

sphere On the Highest Perch

Awards

Nutrition Information

Los Angeles Resources

Cooking Tips/Recipes

Guest Contributors

Books/Media Reviews

Directories

sphere Archive Index

sphere Contact Us

*Privacy Policy: When you subscribe to Vegetarians in Paradise (vegetarian e-zine) your email address will not be sold or rented, and will only be used to let you know in an email what's new in our monthy web magazine.

All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise

 Vegetarian Restaurant Review


Editors' Note: On this page in our November, 2006, issue we published a review of Terra Bella Café in Redondo Beach. We are sorry to report that this restaurant has closed its doors. They will be missed.

R: Nestled among the many shops and restaurants that make PCH an exciting, colorful, and vital artery is a beautiful little piece of earth called Terra Bella Café where the vibes are high, the food is raw, the focus is organic, and the kitchen is kosher to boot!

Terra Bella Cafe Z: Entering from the parking lot in the rear, we strolled past the narrow alcove of lighted bookshelves with titles spewing out words like "raw, living, uncooked, vibrant, energizing." Just beyond is the attractive condiment bar with Nama Shoyu, olive oil, agave nectar, and chiles as food enhancers.

R: Dominating a large portion of the room is an attractive, L-shaped, mirrored bar elegantly framed in dark walnut wood. Completing the bar is a high counter and tall wooden barstools. Formerly a coffee shop, the restaurant inherited the bar that adds an appealing focal point to the dining atmosphere.

Terra Bella Z: Tasteful, intimate lighting warmed the dining area, generating an instant feeling of comfort to the long, rectangular dining room. Soft eclectic music, glass-top tables, and colorful ceramic dinnerware create an ambience of carefully designed informality.

R: Because the attractive menu zings with such a banquet of offerings, we called on Debbie, our server, to make suggestions for our hungry group of five all primed for a taste of adventurous cuisine. And Debbie was as zesty as the food. While she was listing a few of her favorite dishes, another server brought a platter of Sampler for Deux to the next table. That dish was such a stunning display we ordered it as our starter along with Coco Shakes and Berry Me Softly beverages.

Z: Vibrantly alive with dazzling colors, the Sampler for Deux arrived while we were still decoding the menu to make our other selections. The platter was lined with at least two varieties of crisp dehydrated flaxseed crackers while the center erupted with little mounds of tasty tidbits like spicy beans, mano-cotti rolls, salad greens, pine nut chive cream cheese, guacamole, and toonah.

Terra Bella R: Hovering like a swarm of locusts, we attacked the platter and concluded it was an ideal introduction to several of the menu specialties. Packed with such variety of flavors and textures, the tiny tastes we shared only primed us for more serious eating. The dish is so hearty one person could enjoy it as a complete meal along with a salad or soup.

Z: We chose the Bruschetta, Tomato Basil Soup, Ghetti and Neatballs, Riviera Ruby as a Samm-ich, Toonah Wrap, Spicy Thai Noodle Bowl, and the Savory Loaf. Without hesitation we approached each specialty with our communal sharing and discovered Terra Bella is a delightful haven of eating pleasure.

R: Clearly, each dish is a labor-intensive innovation flavored by combining a complex of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Gourmet raw cuisine is still a nouvelle idea in the culinary world, yet is making a definitive statement that it's here to stay.

Z: Among our favorites was the Spicy Thai Noodle Bowl with its long strands of soft zucchini noodles dotted with chunks of mango, carrots, bell pepper, and sprouts. Seasonings relied on basil, mint, and cilantro, to enhance the overall spicy, sweet, sour, salty flavors.

R: The other "noodle" dish that left a memorable forkprint was the Ghetti and Neatballs with its soft zucchini noodles, marinated mushrooms, spicy olives, and a killer marinara sauce.

Terra Bella Z: Riviera Ruby was a definite crowd pleaser. We could have had the pine nut/chive cream cheese and a heap of salad fixings in a collard wrap, but chose the combo as a sandwich on Ezekiel bread instead. Another winner, it was well seasoned and went down mighty easy.

R: Italian to the max was the beautiful Bruschetta, a delicious combo of basil pâté, roma tomatoes, and garlic piled onto an herbed cracker. The menu says, "You won't believe it's raw!" but tasting is believing. This little Tapa-tizer received unanimous thumbs up.

Z: Curious about the Toonah pâté wrapped in a collard leaf, we divided the wrap carefully and found the collard so overpowering, the pâté was barely noticeable. By contrast, the Tomato Basil Soup was well defined and quite tasty.

R: Since each of the gourmet entrees came with either soup or salad, we chose some of each and sampled all three salad dressings: Super Food Vinaigrette, Cilantro Vinaigrette, and Ginger Orange. While none of the dressings were thick or creamy, each was distinctive and tastefully flavored.

Z: Across from our table was a two-shelf refrigerated deli case filled with desserts so stunning we simply couldn't leave without a sweet finish. To satisfy our many tastes, we took a vote and chose one piece each of the Chocolate Almond Butter Pie, Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Pumpkin Patch Pie, and the Chocolate Ganache Pie. While chocolate dominated our choices, clearly the favorite was the Pumpkin Patch Pie richly seasoned with all the typical spices one would expect from a pumpkin pie. But the surprise was that the pumpkin pie contained no pumpkin. Chef Melissa created her Pumpkin Patch Pie with an unexpected ingredient--carrots. The captivating, sweet, spicy flavors still linger.

Terra Bella Desserts R: Owner Melissa Davison is a warm, personable, self-taught raw chef who learned most of her culinary skills by spending time in the kitchen and learning from her collection of raw cookbooks. Open only two months, Terra Bella is off to a great start with full tables of diners devouring fresh, organic, uncooked delicacies prepared by Melissa and Chef Jason. Some of their herbs are grown on the site with plans to create an extensive herb and vegetable garden behind the parking lot. None of their foods are heated above 110 degrees to insure the best of living cuisine.

Z: Entrees at Terra Bella range from $9 to $15, appetizers $6 to $14, salads $7 to $15. The beverage menu includes warm drinks and special teas along with juices, kombucha cocktails, and smoothies.

Reviewed November 2006

Click here for past Dining in Paradise reviews


Vegetarians in Paradise

Homepage sphere Our Mission sphere The Nut Gourmet
Vegetarian Survival Kit sphere News from the Nest
Recipe Index sphere Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants
24 Carrot Award sphere Vegetarian Basics 101
sphere Protein Basics sphere Calcium Basics sphere Ask Aunt Nettie
VeggieTaster Report sphere Vegetarian Reading sphere
VegParadise Bookshelf sphere Heirloom Gardening
Cooking with Zel sphere Dining in Paradise
Cooking Beans & Grains sphere On the Highest Perch
sphere Road to Vegetaria sphere Media Reviews
Words from Other Birds sphere Using Your Bean
Ask the Vegan Athlete sphere Airline Vegetarian Meals
Vegetarian Holiday Meals sphere Great Produce Hunt
Farmers' Markets sphere Natural Food Markets
Vegetarian Associations Directory
Links We Love sphere VegParadise Yellow Pages sphere
Vegetarian Food Companies sphere Archive Index sphere
Send us e-mail

Homepage sphere Los Angeles Events Calendar sphere Our Mission sphere The Nut Gourmet sphere Vegan for the Holidays sphere Vegetarian Survival Kit sphere News from the Nest sphere Recipe Index sphere Los Angeles Vegetarian Restaurants sphere Vegetarian Basics 101 sphere Protein Basics sphere Calcium Basics sphere Ask Aunt Nettie sphere VeggieTaster Report sphere Vegetarian Reading sphere VegParadise Bookshelf sphereHeirloom Gardening sphere Cooking with Zel sphere Dining in Paradise sphere Cooking Beans & Grains sphere On the Highest Perch sphere Road to Vegetaria sphere Words from Other Birds sphere Using Your Bean sphere Ask the Vegan Athlete sphere Vegetarian Holiday Meals sphere Great Produce Hunt sphere Farmers' Markets sphere Natural Food Markets sphere Vegetarian Associations Directory sphere Links We Love sphere VegParadise Yellow Pages sphere Media Reviews sphere 24 Carrot Award sphere Vegetarian Food Companies sphere Archive Index sphere Contact Us

© 1999-2014 vegparadise.com