LOS ANGELES | Gjelina Venice was one of the hottest restaurants in this part of LA when it opened, and while the lines aren’t quite as out-of-this-world long as they once were, it’s still very popular and there’s still a wait for a table. Why is it so popular? Well part of it is down to hype and reputation, but the fact is that the food at Gjelina is really good.
Best described as modern-American with a good dose of rustic Italian. The Neapolitan-style pizzas are one of the most popular items on the menu here and it’s easy to see why. The base is thin and charred just as it should be, with a nice interplay between crispy and spongy. There’s a good ‘ingredient to base’ ratio, and the quality ingredients are left to do the talking. We love the smoked mozzarella with confit tomato, jalapeno, arugula, lemon, and bottarga. Do note, however, that changes and modifications aren’t allowed.
There’s a lot of other things to choose from too, whether you’re visiting for brunch or dinner. Lots of produce focused dishes based around seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The charcuterie and cheese boards are fantastic, and it’s nice to see a chef not shy away from using different ingredients. Familiar items grace the menu, as to dishes containing tripe, sweetbreads and lamb neck.
Aesthetically the venue is suitably hip and modern. Low lighting, exposed brick, and open kitchen, lots of communal benches and stools. It gets loud and vibrant in here, and service, while efficient, can be somewhat impersonal.
When you add everything up, it’s easy to see why Gjelina is popular. The food is great, and the atmosphere energising.
1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard
Telephone: 310 450 1429
Sun – Sat: 8:00am to 12:00am