The more I eat at Gjelina, the more my love and appreciation for Travis Lett's genius grows and grows. The consistent excellence of nearly everything I've had on so many occasions now from such a wunderkind is truly mind- and mouth-boggling. He gets pizza, he gets brunch, he gets lamb, he gets (especially) fish and vegetables -- and he gets it all SO right! Have you had the Bottarga Pizza? Jeez, is that good, or what?
And, to prove, that you cannot judge a book by its cover he's the furthest thing from my mental picture of a great chef (think Prudhomme, but even fatter): the guy looks like he was just rescued from a few years shipwrecked on desert Island or as if he has been in training for the Nairobi marathon team. In fact, the whole young, hyper-committed staff of Gjelina appears to me that they shouldn’t be able to cook a peanut butter and jelly sandwich properly and that they ought to be modeling underwear, not slinging such amazing world-class chow.
The place has infected me in a bad, bad, beautiful way -- can’t stop thinking about going my next visit!
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA