For the foodies out there, you may have heard food critics mention Gjelina (Bon Apetit, Food and Wine) before. Although California, especially southern California, boasts of "good food" places, it unfortunately cannot offer the same "stellar" dining experiences as Chicago or New York. However, Gjelina is one of the few restaurants in SoCal that rightfully does so.
Chef Travis Lett strikes all the right cords with the proper balance of sweet and salty, soft and crunchy, light and heavy. I wasn't able to snap a photo of every dish we ordered, and the photos taken with my Galaxy S3 don't do much justice to the food, so I can only hope you feel the urge to visit Gjelina.
After much research (as always), my family ordered the anchovy burrata toast, wood-grilled cauliflower, squid ink chitarra, squash blossoms pizza, and rhubarb crisp with almond gelato. Even now, I groan. Ugh! The entire meal was perfect. Had we not planned part 2 of my brother's birthday--lavish birthday dinner at home--then we would have mercilessly tried a few other dishes as well. At the same time, too much food at once wouldn't have allowed us to savor and remember each bite with the same clarity.
If you're curious to read my detailed scoop on our birthday lunch at Gjelina, visit christineeoh.yelp.com. Oh, trust me. It truly is an exhaustive review. I would most definitely consider Gjelina to be one of my favorite restaurants, and if the parking wasn't such a nightmare in Venice, I would frequent it more often as well.
For my readers in the mid-wests and east, I hope your stomachs aren't growling because I would just feel guilty if they did! Get ready for some throwbacks tomorrow!
Love, Pristine Christine
P.S. Check out the new Facebook page for My Petite Bites: https://www.facebook.com/mypetitebites?ref=hl