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Week in Reviews: Terra in Malibu, Lift, Yuta and More Elsewhere

Terra, Alen Lin, 9/13/07

This week Leslie Brenner steps in for S. Irene Vribila and turns out a teeter-totter review for Terra in Malibu. What Brenner does best today, without being too scathing, is offer the negative with a hefty dose of positive, at least when it comes to chef/owner Christopher Bocchino's rustic fare:

It's a new place, though. Bocchino is finding his footing and the cooking improves on each visit. Last month, a braised lamb shank served over Israeli couscous was undercooked and the meat a little muttony-tasting (and the huge bone is rather Flintstonian in presentations). On a later visit, the cooking time and flavor are right (though it still looks like something for Barney Rubble).
She contends that Bocchino pretty much hits his stride on her last visit. When it comes to the room and the service, Brenner's much more positive than negative---the waitstaff "knows the rules," the room is quiet enough for conversation and "graceful." It's just the kind of spot worth seeking out whether you live in the 'bu or not, which "finally got the kind of restaurant it really needs." Terra gets one-and-a-half stars. Today the vacationing "S." stands for "eSSScape." (Here's a look around inside). [LAT]

ELSEWHERE: The LAT finds Studio City's Yuta an izakaya where one can actually talk; Metromix checks out Lift; still hard to find but worth the effort, Nook pleases The Knife; the Meltdown still melty; late-night eats at La Cabana; everyone's torn over Sushi Ike, and not getting Ciudad.

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