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The new branch of Terra in La Mesa offers several gluten-free choices — several salads, at least one main course — along with vegetarian items.

Jeff Rossman's eco-conscious neighborhood restaurant has been thrilling good palates La Mesa, and others in the neighborhood, since its recent move from Hillcrest. The recent closure of the Fish Merchant has left them with few good choices.

About two weeks ago, Keli Dailey in the U-T panned it. Instant tempest on Yelp and other foodsites, centering on the point: If you live west of the 15, just stay there!

Myself, I haven't eaten at Terra for a long time before it moved. Even in Hillcrest, it struck me as a good neighborhood restaurant with some ambitions, some fine successes in fulfilling them. The La Mesa menu is more casual, less pricey. Seems like the perfect match for the more sophisticated people living around there. (The alternative: That La Mesa "family restaurant" that's about to get a makeover on one of those TV programs targeting totally hopeless eateries.)

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