Gjelina Venice Beach.California

Go to Gjelina if you can for a casual lunch, the cuisine is right on. You walk into a noisy room, counters for singles or clients less patient to wait. The place is a cross between a trattoria and a brasserie, it has a menu to make customers come back again and again.

Our counter neighbor (a regular) shows off his prosciutto with grilled mandarin orange and salad. The bread is excellent, a sour dough with some black olives, but it is not tacky, the bread is sophisticated and served with premium olive oil.

If you like wood oven pizza, here you’ll find it, or a Smörgåsbord of foods but all well executed. Their pickles are homemade, most things are meticulously made. I watched the two girls at the bar and they are swift and precise. This food is consistent and it has been well thought out. I was tempted to try their raw fish, it is made the way we like it, olive oil, citrus and some sea salt.

The food is genuine down to earth cuisine, the servers are working hard as the restaurant is very busy. One of the owners stands by working out details with his manager, they are very focused.

The one thing I found puzzling about the menu were the ‘fresh Sea Urchin from Kyoto’ – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of sea foods from Kyoto – there is no sea-shore there.

If there were more restaurants like Gjeina….