In the immortal struggle between Westside and Eastside hipsters, and one can invariably tell the difference because the Westside crew is barefoot and wet from surfing and the Eastside crew is wearing a scarf as if caught in a draft only they can feel, Gjelina is a gamechanger. A restaurant people from Silverlake and Echo Park can’t ignore. A Venice destination restaurant that despite long lines, oft times surly service and a near Gestapo menu modification policy that recently drew international headlines; is always packed and deservedly so.
And now Travis Lett shares with the world GTA (Gjelina Take Away) in the space that formerly housed the French 50s60s store (conveniently and thankfully this moved further down the street and is not gone for good). A long white marble counter to order dominates the space of wood and glass that feels unfinished in a purposeful way. The menu is a familiar redux of Gjelina style favorites, pizza, sandwiches, vegetable sides that make one giddy, sweets and treats.
A tuna conserva sandwich on olive bread, pesto chicken and dumpling soup, a slice of heavenly carrot cake (eaten first at the counter of course) and fresh limeade was The Monster’s order. The staff was cheerful, the clientele suitably lovely looking, the order taken quickly and the food ready in less than ten minutes.
Waiting for the order The Monster nearly ripped a pizza out of the hands of another customer, then thought about (but didn’t) leap over the counter to get another slice of carrot cake. Back at the office it was a perfect (though pricey) lunch without the hassle of maneuvering Gjelina proper’s lunch time crush.
Why go? Surfing and scarves look good on other people, you want to eat and eat well.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291