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Gjelina: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

Want to make a grown woman blush? Suggest that the reason she wants to go to this serene patio restaurant on Abbot Kinney is because she wants to gaze deeply into a scruffy waiter's eyes. She will object, of course, claiming that what she wants is the Cavaillon melon with lightly grilled squid, or the wild arugula with sheep cheese and corn, or the cilantro-pork sausage, charred black in the wood-burning oven and served disconcertingly rare, with lentils and a tingly fig mostarda.

If she has her yogini on speed dial, she may hold forth on the smoky grilled king mushrooms with butter and coarse salt, or the roast cauliflower with garlic, or the fairly incredible dish of juicy roast turnips laced with bits of black, served with their own braised foliage and a bitter, bracing shot of chimichurri. There are rustic French wines if she's leaning that way, and IPAs on tap if she's not. And she will be telling the truth, kind of, even when she starts to go on about the fire pit, and the crisp little pizzas with lamb sausage and broccoli rabe or with Fontina, bacon and burnt radicchio. But when you get to the restaurant, and plop down by the fire pit, and realize that the people in the pretty patio look less like Westsiders than like actors hired to play Westsiders on TV, you will understand. If it is all just too much for you, and I'm betting it won't be, you can always grab an egg sandwich or a squash-blossom pizza from the newish Gjelina Take Away next door. 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 450-1429, gjelina.com. Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-mid.; Sat.-Sun., 9 a.m.-mid. Beer and wine. City lot behind restaurant. All major CC. California.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

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Gjelina

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90291

310-450-1429

www.gjelina.com


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