These two restaurants that I always forget how to properly pronounce, Gjusta and Gjelina, have elevated the restaurant game in the Venice, California, area. The only interior picture I took during my first time having brunch at Gjelina was of my lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes because that was all that truly mattered. The inside of Gjelina is not super impressionable, and most of the seating is communal (and it can be VERY packed), but you forget your surroundings while enjoying the delicious food. Writing this makes me want to stop by and pick up some lemon ricotta blueberry pancakes to go.
The outside of Gjelina is also unassuming, as I was not quite sure if I was at the right place at first, and was not sure if the restaurant was even open until someone walked through the door. However, there are also a few elements on the outside of the building that blend in well with the Venice aesthetic.
The same people behind Gjelina, also run Gjusta. According to Gjusta’s website, they originally opened it as a commissary kitchen to service the other restaurants. It has now become a local staple in Venice for fresh bread, baked goods, and handful of other delicious items. I highly recommend the chicken dumpling soup and any and all tarts they have freshly made. Gjusta is also a great place to order charcuterie boards to bring to your next gathering. Gjusta can be even busier than Gjelina during the day, but a rookie mistake is to stand in the long line that backs all the way up to the door. Instead you need to confidently walk into Gjusta and look for the ticket dispenser hanging on the wall on the right-hand side. You then must be ready to jump to the counter when they call your number because they give you half a second to respond before moving on to the next number.