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“Great Ladies Lunch”
Review of Gjelina

Gjelina
Ranked #48 of 9,954 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$ 25 - US$ 100
Cuisines: American, Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Home Style
Neighbourhood: Venice
Cross street: Milwood
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
91 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Great Ladies Lunch”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

3 friends and myself had lunch at Gjelina on a Wednesday. We arrived at 12pm to get a table hoping to not have a wait. We were seated immediately at, what we thought, was the best table in the house-front of the restaurant by the windows. We were the only table in that corner, so it was cozy and private and we could actually hear ourselves talk-because that's what ladies do at lunch! The people watching wasn't bad either, there were lots of people walking by, etc... Our server was excellent (wish I'd gotten his name). We asked for recommendations and he happily offered. I think we ordered everything he recommended. Arugula and goat cheese pizza, kale salad (I think this is their signature dish), an artichoke/burrata starter, a roasted cauliflower dish and a mushroom, caramelized onion, truffle pizza. The pizzas are delicious-almost like flatbread. We shared all the dishes and every one of them was fantastic! I don't think a crumb was left when we finished. Oh, and the rhubarb and strawberry crumble was to die for. It came to the table piping hot with a scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream on top.
Other reviews for this restaurant stated that the service was slow and came with an attitude. We didn't find this to be the case at all. Our experience was a wonderful one.
My advice, if you want to have lunch at this restaurant-go early. Around 1pm, it got very crowded and the wait time for a table was long. Parking can be difficult in the area, but I found a public valet lot across the street for $7. It was worth it.
For fresh, seasonal, delicious food and helpful, friendly service, I wholeheartedly recommend Gjelina!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jennifer L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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    Atmosphere
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English first
Santa Monica, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“Delicious Food, Creative Menu,”
Reviewed 19 April 2012

Gjelina is known as one of the best restaurants on Abbot Kinney Blvd. There is almost always a flock of people waiting outside for a table. As a local, I avoided the place for a while - put off by the long wait and the hype.

But, after finally having lunch last week, I realize I was missing out. There's a reason for the line - The menu is rustic, creative and absolutely delicious. Definitely worth the wait. GTA (Gjelina Take Away) next door is also good.

I recommend reservations. Or, at least, expect a 20 - 45 minute wait for weekday lunch.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank Paris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
new hampshire
Level Contributor
23 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Poor service; ok food.”
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Well, after hearing about this place for quite some time, we finally went last night. I will say that it probably would have gotten 2 stars but for the competent and nice hostess who dealt with our reservation change and arranged for a cake and candle for my companion's birthday. She (and the smiling man who seated us) made the experience much better than it really could have been.
First off, the noise level. It is VERY loud. We were in the (small) main part where there is a bar and community tables as well as one long row of tables along a wall. There was also a patio, which looks fairly nice, but again, smallish. The tables are VERY close and with that and the
noise, any real conversation was next to impossible. Then the waitress. She waited on us in a prompt fashion, which was fine. She asked if we wanted drinks, which we ordered, then immediately said, "Do you know what you want?" As we had looked online at the menu, and we don't eat meat, we did in fact know what we were going to order. But it struck me as "I want you
out quickly so I can turn this table over and make more money." Having been a waitress in my younger days, I know the drill, but it was off-putting right off the bat. This is, after all, a rather expensive place to eat, even if it is just a glorified bar, and we were celebrating a special day. My reaction was ug. And the way that the tables are lined up and so close, I was BACK TO the
waitress with no real room to turn to look at her! It was strange not to be able to really look at the waitress' face the whole night. Also off-putting.
The food was average. I read a lot of reviews online and the things we ordered had been recommended by others. But I found all of the food to be too average, too expensive and the place too loud and too close, and the service borderline rude. Sadly.
We did get the cake and candle...barely. After our dinner plates were cleared, we waited at least
10-15 minutes for the waitress to bring the dessert menu. She never did. Instead, she hurriedly threw the chocolate cake and candle on the table, while muttering "I meant to get this earlier..." She never said "Happy Birthday" or mentioned his name, although I had told them. It was cold.
She asked if we wanted coffee. I said yes. It never came. Nor did the dessert menu, as I had told the hostess we would order dessert as well as the cake. She left the check with the cake... Get
out...The end was so abrupt that I didn't realize until later that I never got my coffee! I am SURE we were charged for it though.
Being from New England, I see the pattern of Hollywood hype that attaches to places around here. I felt this was another instance of that: mostly hype. They seem to believe it, unfortunately. They need to revisit that or they will soon be yesterday's paper.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank mvlNewHampshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manila, Philippines
Level Contributor
54 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Good Food Bad Attitude”
Reviewed 10 April 2012

If you can stand the Attitude with a capital A of the servers and staff, then the food is great. The front room is dark (i.e. painted black) so it can be pretty depressing on a summer's day when at least I would rather be out in the sun or a brighter atmosphere. They do have a patio. This place is always super crowded. the crowd here think they are cool. Also take note that there is absolutely no substitution in the menu but that the ingredients to the meal are not fully listed . Ask before you order if you have any food sensitivities. The policy of this restaurant is THE STAFF IS ALWAYS RIGHT!

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
Thank tanasurfs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
76 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Go for the food not necessarily the service”
Reviewed 9 April 2012

I have been to Gjelina many times and the food never disappoints. They have a wood burning oven that turns out some great dishes. They have a very creative menu that changes seasonally. Their pizzas are excellent. They can their own tomato sauce and it is outstanding. It can be loud and not great for an intimate date or serious conversation. They have regular tables, a community table and a nice patio out back. Almost every time I have been there the hostess almost acts as if you are disturbing her for coming in. I have had the same experience making reservations on the phone. Maybe it is just LA but the food is very good and I'm willing to overlook their less than friendly attitude.

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank BBGraber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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