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“Authentic and delicious” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Terun

448 South California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306
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Ranked #3 of 273 Restaurants in Palo Alto
Price range: $10 - $30
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Top Contributor
108 reviews 108 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Authentic and delicious”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2015 via mobile

Delicious Italian food! We shared several starters, including the eggplant polpette, which was very original and fabulous. The calamari with faro and beet salad were also awesome. We then shared a couple of pasta dishes which consisted of homemade pasta. The service is wonderful, the staff is friendly and efficient. I look forward to trying other dishes:-)

Visited April 2015
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79 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Marin County
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
105 helpful votes 105 helpful votes
“Optimum Service, Hospitality & Food !!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2015

We live in Mill Valley north of Golden Gate 15 miles so traveling down the Penninsula is not something we do regularly. However, my CPA, Italian, is in San Mateo and I needed see him to prepare my taxes and he recommended this place. Let me say that dining for us these days is not just the food but the environment & the service. Immediately in front of the restaurant, I loved not being hounded as happens in many Italian areas not only here in the US but in Piazzas in Italia where a barker outside says “Buon Giorno, Buona Sera” and hounds you to come in when many would like to poke their noses in the window or just look at the menu. I do not consider Palo Alto a major tourist city like San Francisco so imagine most of the clients are local. This place on a Monday night and not dinner hour but 5:30 pm was packed…we were lucky to get a seat…so the food has to be good as this restaurant depends upon locals to return, not one time tourists.

I felt like we were with family in a lively atmosphere and the employees, our young waiter was from Verona and I told him he must have been a decendant of Romeo( lovely town with many historical sites but also famous for Romeo & Juliet statue & balcony) as he was so handsome & the rest of the staff, especially one of the owners, Maico Campilongo, treated us like we were related. Actually, our roots are similar as the Paternal side of my family is from Calabria, Cetraro, a village not more than 1/2 hour south from his home town, Scalea, and my Mom’s family is from Castellaneta, Puglia( birthplace of Rudolph Valentino) and only 10 min or so from the hometown of the Chef. I joked that people from this town like to say they are relatives of Rudolfo so didn’t I look a bit like him (HA!).

OK, I’m biased but in Italian sections of NY, Boston, SF etc., most of the cooks are Latin, albeit trained by Italians, for me there is nothing like having a native born Italian cook. There were so many tempting things on the menu that we will need make the trip south again to enjoy an Italian atmosphere with native Italian personnel. I loved looking at all the delicious plates. Had 2 1/2 glasses, first 1/2 was complimentary of a nice full bodied red "Gaglioppo-Greco-Nerello Statti Calabria ”, Farro & Calamari green onions, roasted red pepper, parsley, Eggplant Polpette(meatball) taleggio, truffle cream, Fava & Broccoli Rabe peperoncino calabrese, garlic, parmigiano, olive oil and then a thin crust Neapolitan pizza. The custom of putting many, many ingredients on a pizza is from when Italian immigrants came here 100 years or so & they were poor & needed to fill up. Also, with the popularity of pizza since, especially in America, people wanted to feel they were getting their money's worth. The best Italian pizzas have 3-4 ingredients and one of the favorites is the simple "Margherita" named after the Queen who visited Naples in the late 1800's. It only contains the red of the Tomato, the white of the Mozzarella and the fresh Green Basil, the 3 colors in the Italian flag. But the dough is really as important, and more so than the ingredients, these Italians have mastered providing an authentic Neapolitan pizza in America. Can’t wait to return to try some pastas & sauces & do “La Scarpetta” (little shoe) used to sop & scoop up the sauce, which many in Italia consider the best part of the meal.

Had a complimentary Tiramisu and glass of Limoncello. Tiramisu means to throw me up in the air(like a pick-me-up) and with the wine and Limoncello I was euphoric. They wanted to give me a Grappa too but I had a tough time staying awake at the movie at the Palo Alto Cinemarks with the alcohol I had. They needed change the name from Terrone, trademarked, but I said I didn’t like it anyway as it means a dirt farmer and a derrogatory term used by northern Italians. Hmmm. Don’t the people in the north enjoy grapes/wine, fruit & vegetables grown from the dirt ? "Sono Fessi" ( they are fools) !!!

As the Neapolitan song “ Torna a Surriento” , return to Sorrento or as people in Rome toss a coin in the Fontana di Trevi to return to Roma, we can’t wait to return to Terun Ristorante. You locals are lucky people as we’d probably be in there once per week if we lived in the area.
On a personal basis there is a characteristic I really liked about the native Italians here. When I spoke Italian, they responded in Italian and when I spoke English, they responded in English. I am a septuagerian and I am born in the US and my Italian is from when my immigrant parents/relatives came here 100 years ago and could only speak Italian to me at home which they did until I went to college & then the military at 21 years old & then left home. It’s OK but still weak but they allowed me the dignity of speaking the language of my ancestors. Although we just met, it seemed like we were old friends/family…Southern Italian people are very friendly…and we gave eachother “Un Abbraccio” as it’s OK for Italian men to give eachother a brief hug. We do want to return as “Vale La Pena”…it is worth while the 1 1/2 hour trip is cheaper than flying to Italia, avoiding 10-15 hours flight/Jet Lag etc. to enjoy authentic Italian food. You people who want to practice your Italian, come here as I am sure they will accommodate you.

Visited April 2015
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Mountain View, California
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good restaurant for simple get together and families”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2015

Just loved the outside seating (inside is too noisy). Food is simple italian but good, pizzas are fine crust and wood oven cooked

  • Visited March 2015
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Top Contributor
177 reviews 177 reviews
119 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Pretty good place for Italian with a twist”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

I ate here with a business colleague and liked it a lot. I'm not sure I agree with the others who give it four or five stars, but it's definitely a nice Italian joint. The decor is minimalist modern, the bar seats about 10 or so. Reservations are a must, this place gets full fast, and you can only make reservations by phone. Note they close mid-afternoon for about three hours and don't answer the phone, so call mid-day. We sat at one of the outside tables which was pleasant since it's on a relatively quiet street.

We had the polpette melanzana and roasted cauliflower to start and both were very good. The polpette were surprisingly flavorful and had a great texture. They serve them in a truffled cream sauce however which was both too rich and too froo-froo for my taste - polpette really need marinara sauce in my opinion, even veggie versions. Cauliflower was likewise tasty and nice and hot when it arrived. I had the tre colore pizza which comes with a huge ball of burratta in the center, an odd and not terribly successful way to showcase the burratta. The burratta itself was excellent but it overwhelmed the rest of the pizza. The crust looked and tasted like there was a bit of whole wheat or other grain mixed in the flour, which was okay but again a little unusual. My colleague had a spicier pizza with sausage and it was generally very good.

Wine selection is decent, prices are a bit rich however. Wines by the glass run anywhere from $9-$18 BUT they do give a big pour thankfully. The list is split about 40/40/20 Italian/California/Other which was fine for me. I had a Greco de Tufo that was nice and crisp, followed by a Barolo that was outstanding (but $$$$).

So, yes, this is a nice place for a good meal, albeit one that deviates from traditional Italian which is pretty much as I expected. I'm just not as bowled over by this place as others are.

  • Visited March 2015
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Great food and awesome staff”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2015

We were having a hard time finding places open late in Palo Alto, and these guys were perfect. Great pizza and the staff was very friendly and helpful.

Visited March 2015
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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