Showing posts with label gjelina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gjelina. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Food Tour de Venice, CA by Avital Tours

by guest blogger @iam_robot

I recently got the chance to check out a one of the walking food tours by Avital, who took us on a tour around the Venice neighborhood.
 This Venice food tour took us deep inside the center of the old city and allowed us to explore real stories of this beachfront neighborhood.  Snippets of lifestyles, cultures, and rich history came into light through bites of puff pastry, savory pizza, and sugary donut. Personally, I think it’s almost impossible to scour best places to eat by driving around aimlessly. A feast of this magnitude must only be countered with serious walking feast – worry not, we all walked ‘kind of’ leisurely. Without the guidance of Avital, I never would have ventured to some of these restaurants (at least not all at once) and certainly wouldn’t have ordered many of the things I tried. So if you decide to join – make sure to bring a hearty appetite, comfortable shoes, and strong sense of humor J

The tour begins with 2 shots of craft beer at Venice Ale House. Located strategically on the boardwalk, you can’t help but watch hipster and westsiders going about with their weirdness.  Moving along, we walked couple blocks to one of the narrow alleys to encounter a sleek, minimal storefront called as Dudley Market. 

Dudley Market Interior
Gnocco fritto, with Calabrian chili salsa and scallops at Dudley Market
After couple of beer shots at The Ale House, I thought we were getting greasy food to wash down the alcohol bloat. To my utmost surprise, a plate of Puff Pastry with scallop and Calabrian Chili Salsa came to sight within 5 minutes. I pretty much inhaled them with sips of fine Cava. I was amazed with Chef Jesse Barber’s (formerly of Barnyard and The Tasting Kitchen) creation – it’s simple, honest, and ingredient-centric. Definitely not the prototypical dish you’d find on beachfronts.
Plant Food and Wine Interior
Carrot Ginger Soup by Plant Food and Wine

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mondays after 10PM : Where to Eat?

Half of LA pretty much shuts down on Mondays, and the other half seems to shut down at 10 PM.

Here are a list of the places I've found (so far) that are open past 10 pm on Mondays - on the westside (ish)

1. The Bazaar
465 S. La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA

Open until midnight.

2. Riva
312 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA

Open until midnight.

3. Wakasan
1929 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 446-5241

Open until 11 pm.

4. XIV
8117 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 656-1414

Open until 11 pm.

5. Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.,Venice, CA 90291
(310) 450-1429

Open until midnight

6. BCD Tofu House
3575 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 382-6677

Open 24 hours.

7. Loteria! Grill
6627 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 465-2500

Open until 11 pm

8. Father's Office II
3229 Helms Ave.,
Los Angeles 90034
(310) 736-2224

Kitchen open until 11 pm (bar until 1 am).

9. Simpang Asia
10433 National Blvd #2
Los Angeles, CA 9003

Open until midnight daily.

10. Cecconi's
8764 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90069
(310) 432-2000

Open until midnight M-W, 1 am Th-Sat, 11pm Sun.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Gjelina, Unpolished ABK Gem

We went to try out Gjelina, a new hopping place on Abbot Kinney. It was a Monday night buy they were super packed. The main dining room was extremely, extremely loud and it made me think twice about eating there. We were told that it would be a 30 minute wait but after about 15 minute one of the hostesses said that she had a couple of non-counter options for me.

She took me to the back room and the patio, which was A LOT quieter - thank god ...
I chose to sit on one of the couches they had on the patio. Very cozy, the patio is very nice.
I have to agree that the service still needs a lot of work. The waitress was very pleasant, the food came pretty quickly, so why do I say that? Well ... it's the order that the dishes came in :(
We ordered: a platter of cured meats, the arugula and sweet corn salad with grape tomatoes and ricotta, the grilled Monterey Bay squid with rocket salad, and the Mushroom Toast.

First came the Mushroom Toast (not the salad first?)
Easily my favorite dish of the night. The portions here are pretty small, but then again they are priced accordingly (pretty much tapas-size). I wasn't that interested in it in the beginning and if it wasn't for the reviews I would not have ordered it, but this dish was amazing.
Giant mushrooms that are amazingly flavorful. The sauce is slightly creamy and is just great!
Don't share this with more than one other person ... otherwise you will be fighting over it!!

Then next came the Grilled monterey bay squid, with rocket and chimichurri
The squids were great, not too chewy and the sauce is wonderful, but the arugula/rocket is a bit bitter for my taste ...
The chimichurri didn't add much in my opinion (besides relieving the bitter taste in my mouth).

After this dish we realized we won't have enough food since the portions are small, so we ordered the grilled shrimp. In the meantime, our cured meat platter came. It consisted of:

Duck confit
My fave from this dish. Very good (although it doesn't top the one I recently tried at Bar Tartine's in SF).

Salami, made in NY
Pretty good, but I'm no expert.

Homemade Elk Terrine with Cherries
Now, this was an interesting piece. It was pretty good and gets a plus for uniqueness. Plus I've never had elk and I liked this terrine quite a bit.

The platter was served with their homemade mustard sauce which I thought was delicious.

The shrimps came pretty quickly after, which just made me wonder if they had completely forgotten about my salad ... Anyway I chowed down on my shrimps first:
The waitress had mentioned that the shrimps were "huge" but they really weren't. Three of these lads divided by two people left you wanting. The shrimps were pretty good, and the sauce was also tasty, but I don't know if three pieces were worth our $12.

So this is where I started going ... "Uhm ... where is my salad?" The waitress apologized and said that it'll be right out, but it still took a while. In the meantime, someone brought over another one of the shrimps. We told them we had ours already (although we were eyeing these since we were still hungry!)

Well, finally, the long awaited salad came!
There was not that much sweet corn and I'm a corn lover so that's a minus ... and again, the arugula is too bitter for my taste. I wonder why ... I usually love arugula :( Note to self: no more arugula from Gjelina. Get mushrooms instead! After that long wait for it, it was rather anticlimactic.

Soo ... salad, and then dessert! Funky way of dining, I'd say.
Again, the portions are small so we weren't full and wanted one dessert each. We were eyeing another table who had the peach cobbler and the flourless chocolate cake, so we went ahead and ordered those. The waitress said that these two are the best, but I saw a chocolate walnut pudding on the menu that looked really2 interesting. Must try next time.

The peach cobbler ($8) is one of the best I've ever had!It's pretty small and the crust is nothing special, although good. The deal clincher is the peaches though! For a fruit dessert, the fruits really make a big difference and a lot of places don't seem to pay that much attention to it, but the peaches they used here were excellent (at least for tonight)!

The flourless chocolate cake was also good
Rich and dense. The chopped nuts add a nice touch to the whole thing.
I think I've had my share of flourless chocolate cake though and would probably have been happier with the chocolate walnut pudding or such ...

Overall, I thought Gjelina is pretty good, with the mushroom toast and peach cobbler being the highlights of my meal. I would only go if I can get a patio or back room seating - I'd go deaf in the main dining room. The couches are pretty cozy and would be nice and romantic for a couple, although eating from the coffee table was a bit of a challenge. Service needs a lot of work, but hopefully they will work out all these kinks.

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291 (310) 450-1429

Gjelina on Urbanspoon

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