Gjelina is one of those places that comes in perfect, in a clutch. Just be sure to arrive before noon, or wear comfortable shoes for the wait. A little heavy on the Hipster scene but heck, this is Abbot Kinney. But that’s not why I went there. I went to eat, and eat I did. Gjelina has yet to fail me. My second time at this highly touted affair, Gjelina’s Chef/Co-owner Travis Lett and Co-Owner Fran Camaj have produced a menu that covers everything I need or am usually in the mood for. The menu is stocked with the likes of Potato Gnocchi with Wild Boar and Porcini Mushrooms, a bespoke Lamb Burger and fresh cut fries with Harissa and garlic Aioli, PEI Mussels with Chorizo, Tomato Confit and white wine. Fresh Kumamoto Oysters, always my favorite oysters. The simple fried egg sandwich with Spek, Tomato Confit, Harissa Aioli and arugula was delicious and flavorful. Gjelina also has a good selection of Sandwiches, Pizzas, vegetable side dishes and desserts that can’t be passed on. Just a day prior I watched the laborious production of Duck Confit. A dish that needs a few days of salting and seasoning, then three hours of slow cooking in duck fat, and then cured by submerging it said duck fat. It stays submerged awaiting the call to the plate where it is fried to a crisp crackly skin. Well, today on the menu, I noticed that they served Duck Confit, so I ordered it. It was fantastic, not fatty or greasy. The Duck Confit was tender and full of flavor and served atop lentils with a Dijon sauce, rutabaga, and bitter greens. This was finished with a flourless chocolate cake with Creme Fraiche and Hazelnuts. I haven’t been for dinner yet, but look forward to sampling some of the dinner menu. The crowd may be a little pretentious for some, but at least the food is good.
GJELINA 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, Ca 90291 310-450-1429 7 Days a week