GTA, the new breakfast and lunch spot from our pals at Gjelina, is now open for business, right next door to G-Dogs, as we call it. (I don't really know why, we just do.) It was slow to open, and I'd walk by all the time, bug Travis (Lett, Gjelina's chef, great guy and neighbor) about it, and now our patience has been amply rewarded.
EVERY morsel I have consumed from this rustic and classy at the same time counter is pretty much eyes roll back in your dang head delicious. The blueberry brown sugar scone - ummm, wow. I've never been much of a scone gal, as I find them dry and boring, but now I could scone it up on a daily basis. That's because there's a bunch of different - and all jamming - flavors. Bacon & Date. Berry and Ricotta. Oatmeal and something. Awesome and awsome. Those, plus delish coffee cake, fresh strawberry turnovers - if you get there early and lucky enough, egg sandwiches, biscuits, cookies, tra la la! Gorgeous coffees (cortado dulce, please!) too, but they don't yet have take away cups, so you have to stand there and slam it, which I can't always do. That all goes on until 11:30, and then they switch to lunch.
Lunch. MMMM sandwiches - I've had the roast turkey and roast beef, (because I'm not at all afraid of meat) and both are what your Mom might make, if you have a good cooking Mom. The bread is made right there in their fiery ovens, with gorgeous "ears" sticking up - a term Travis taught me, those ridges that rise up on artisan breads. The same right-on pizzas that they kill you with next door. Limeade that tastes just like Summer. I'm so happy somewhere this good is only a stone's throw from home, and I already know pretty much everyone that works there. THAT is a neighborhood joint, never mind the hype.
Speaking of hype ... a little editorial here ... Much has been made of Gjelina and its no substitutions* policy of late. I completely admire Travis and Co. for sticking to their guns and making the policy apply to everyone, across the board. It's about time someone went a little Pinko in an LA restaurant! If some random "Don't you know who I am?!" outraged celeb can't handle their demands being denied for once, order something else. Go someplace else. Grow up!
Early on I wrote a story about Travis and Gjelina, with the title, "Gjelina's Food Artist", and that's what he is. Just taste his stuff and try and debate it. You wouldn't say to a painter, "Hey, I'd rather have you use red here than blue". Or tell a musician what chord to play and when. Why is it any different for a guy who chooses to express himself through food? It isn't. And if you can't handle that, just don't go there. Then another table will open up for someone with an open mind, and you can get your ass kissed in West Hollywood or wherever. Everybody wins.
I'm already looking forward to tomorrow's scone, and some friendly chit chat with my brothers and sisters at my new favorite hang in the 'hood. Venice style.
* For the record, at GTA you MAY have omissions (I don't care for the kale on the egg sandwich and I hate mustard, so bonus!) but you may not have additions. So there.
1427 Abbot Kinney Blvd.