Gjelina in Venice, CA


I’ve had some good eats in LA for sure, but Gjelina set the bar on a whole different level.

It could be that we were famished and every single thing on the menu looked like a good idea (marinated roast beets with avocado, citrus, hazelnut and sherry whattt?). Could have been ┬áthe outdoor patio dining area that let us soak in some of the beautiful Cali weather. OR it was likely even our waiter, Myan, who detailed each dish with so much gusto you felt like not ordering one of his recommendations might actually let him down (but he wouldn’t let you, of course, because he was so convinced we were going to love the food he put in the orders for us even as we were deliberating over them). But really, it always comes down to the meal which gave us so much to pore over (in taste and looks — every meal looked like it was fashioned for a gourmet mag), we left elated. Feast your eyes on it:

Tuscan kale, shaved fennel, radish, lemon, ricotta salata and breadcrumbs

From just looking at the menu, I would have never thought to order the smoked trout salad — I’m not a huge fish eater, and the combo with grapefruit and avocado sounded too experimental for even me. But Myan insisted we had to try it. The salad is so fresh and the citrus isn’t overpowering at all — I would even ended up liking it more than the kale salad.

Smoked trout, grapefruit, avocado, red onion, and lemon

Grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter
Grilled king oyster mushrooms with tarragon butter

Wood roasted cauliflower, garlic, chili, vinegar

Crispy purple potatoes, aioli, pickled red onion, horseradish, and dill

Hanger steak sandwich with roasted anaheim pepper, arugula, and horseradish aioli

Salt and pepper frites with romesco and aoili

Pomodoro, confit tomato, basil, oregano, and green olive oil

Side of fresh oregano, cheese, and red pepper

Mushroom, rosemary, and garlic oil pizza


Avocado, sprouts, red onions, pepper, aioli, and fennel sandwich

Just when we though we couldn’t eat more, Myan convinced us that we haven’t lived until we tried their butterscotch pot de creme with salted caramel and creme fraiche.
Butterscotch pot de creme

And that’s how lunch is done. Can’t wait to go back to check out their bakery counterpart, Gjusta. And since you’re on Abbot Kinney anyway, make sure you stop by the cute shops on the street like Burra, and Tom’s coffee shop/shoe store.

Meal: Lunch

Occasion: Trying out new digs on Abbot Kinney
Price: $$$
(Out of three stars)
Ambiance: ***
Food: ***
Service: ***
Would I go back?: Yes

Restaurant Info:

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd,
Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429

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