I have a love / hate relationship with LA. I will always love San Francisco infinitely more, but on occasion, a weekend or a few days in LA can be a nice change of pace. I like staying within individual neighborhoods of LA as getting around can be difficult, but there are definitely food gems to be found all over the city. On this particular weekend, we spent most of our time in the West LA, Culver, & Venice regions.
My brother used to live in Venice so I am very familiar with the area and have some preferred stops such as Intelligentsia Coffee, Abbot's Pizza (I mean bagel crust, need I say more?), The Tasting Kitchen, and last but certainly not least Gjelina. Earlier this year, I was excited to hear that the team behind Gjelina had opened up a second outpost in Venice - Gjusta, and at last, I was able to visit it this weekend.
Gjusta is a sort of an all-in-one bakery/deli/juice bar/coffee spot wonderfully promoting all things hipster. To be clear, I am by no means a hipster, but you have to sort of love the vibe going on in this place, even if the rest of Venice might hate it. Walking into the converted warehouse, the space is light, open, and airy with white walls, exposed wooden beams also painted white, and warm wood floors. On your left is a long row of cases full of goodies from croissants to cheeses to fresh baked breads with all the prep space open behind. At the end of the space is a coffee bar with a wrap around marble counter perfect for leaning and sipping on a latte. Take a number (a la meat counter), and take your time perusing the cases and the menu while you wait for your number to be called.
When I arrived around 11am on Saturday morning, they were sadly out of scones and out of biscuits, so we ended up ordering a selection of items from all the different subsections including cafe con leches (lattes), a pistachio chocolate tea cake, a mushroom bowl, a veggie sandwich, and for me a chicken parm sandwich. Although limited on the seating front, there is a lovely little outdoor space with benches, random tables, lights strung across, and some shade. We took our time passing around our food and enjoying the people watching for some time. Everything was pretty tasty and they have so many choices that I will just be forced to return.
On another note, I just read an article that Gjusta has acquired some of the neighboring spaces and are looking to expand to allow for some more seating - will be interesting to see how that pans out.