i first stumbled upon gjelina last spring while on abbot kinney working on a school project. it was the raw, unfinished exterior wood cladding that first caught my attention, and the lack of exterior signage that lured me inside. i spent the next half hour wandering around the bustling one room restaurant (two, if you include the outdoor lounge) trying to take in every lusciously understated detail.

screenshot courtesy of gjelina.com

screenshot courtesy of gjelina.com

i’ll admit, i’m a sucker for the vintage edison bulb look, so the large industrial “chandelier” that dominates the bar helped the cause. but remaining details like lyrically carved plaster walls, damask-esque banquette upholstery, rough brick flooring, and reclaimed wood tables made the crush official. if vintage france and rustic america had a baby, this would be it. i was disappointed, though, to hear mixed reports on the food front. some people raved, others were underwhelmed. after a string of disappointments at l.a. eateries that talk alot of talk, but didn’t walk the walk, I was hesitant to ruin my infatuation with gjelina by actually eating there.

photo courtesy of latimes.com

photo courtesy of latimes.com

so wasn’t i pleasantly surprised to find all the neighsaying was for naught while sharing lunch with a friend last tuesday. we refreshed our tastebuds with a marinated beet, avocado and blood orange salad before assailing them with the spice of a guanciale, fresno chille and mozzarella pizza (not pictured, unfortunately). after washing it all down with a (shh, don’t tell) glass of white, i sat back and reveled at the thought of future flings with my new favorite westside eatery.


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2 Responses to “gjelina”

  1. Jess Says:

    i’m salivating. i’m very tempted to go now (if you’re feeling the urge for another beet/avocado/orange salad, let me know). i’m also incredibly jealous that you dined at such a gem mid-work day (with wine nonetheless)!

  2. larooblog Says:

    like i said: shh, don’t tell… 🙂

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