LA is not really known to be a city to go to for great pizzas. I know there are few exceptions but we’re definitely overshadowed by NYC, Phoenix and SF. Having been to Roberta’s, Lucali’s, Grimaldi’s, Lombardi’s, Toby’s Public House and Di Fara’s I think I have started to become somewhat of a pizza snob. I didn’t know I became one while in NY but when my family sat down for a super late new years eve lunch at gjelina in Venice beach, I realized I have….changed.
Don’t think we had a place in mind when my sister decided to go to Venice beach. By the time we got out to Venice beach it was already 3pm. Not sure why my sister picked Gjelina but that’s where we ended up having our meal. Seems like nowadays every restaurants are using the same restaurant décor guide book. Dark wood tables and chairs, a communal table and Edison style lightbulbs. We were given a table in the patio area but was told that we had 2hrs to eat before the 5:30pm reservation. While looking through the menu I was sad to find out that they were only serving pizzas. Before, while standing outside I saw people chewing on fries and sandwiches. Guess we were too late for those. The menu looked sort of like menus from Toby’s and Roberta’s. A piece of paper with pizzas like the Classic and Blanco. Gjelina does single size pies but sliced into 6 instead of 4.
While looking at the pizzas from other tables, here comes the pizza snob, I told my family the pizzas looked too thin. Of course they didn’t really care, they were all starving and just wanted to eat.
Like every time, all our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. Between the 5 of us plus 1 kid we ordered a cheese plate, a salad and 5 pies. It didn’t sound like it was a lot until everything was at the table. It sure looked like we went a bit over. Let’s see we got the eggplant pizza, lamb sausage pizza, egg with asparagus pizza, the Blanco and the Classic.
You can see how thin it is here and because it was so thin it didn’t hold up the toppings at the top of the slice. Even my dad said it was too thin.
Out of all the pizzas the lamb sausage was my favorite only because it had the boldest flavors. The eggplants were a bit mushy, the asparagus didn’t offer any flavors to the pizza and the egg wasn’t as spectular as the one from roberta’s, the Bianca was alright and the classic was forgettable. Even though I said the lamb sausage pizza was good, there wasn’t any lamb flavors in the sausage and could’ve been any old sausage.
I think the salad and the cheese plate were the best dishes that day. The salad was a typical salad but the dressing was quite tasty.
I don’t remember all the cheeses that were on the plate but they came with a fresh honeycomb. Cheese and honey on bread was kinda awesome.
i do want to go back to gjelina and check out their lunch menu but I’ll skip the pizza. The pizzas weren’t poor but I’m sure there are better places with better pizzas with a better crust.
– Gjelina 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice