Thursday, October 01, 2015

Gjusta A Nice Dinner With Friends

Friends suggested we go to dinner at Gjusta's.   When they described its location, I realized I'd read about it and even biked by it once on my way back from the beach to my mom's.  The LA Magazine article had said:
"Located just around the corner from the Google's Venice headquarters, the view of Gjusta from the street is rather unremarkable, a white-washed warehouse with a set of accordion-style windows along its front. Step inside, however, and you'll find yourself in a massive kitchen space, illuminated by large skylights that wash the room in sunlight."
No, I hadn't saved it.  I just looked and found it again.  That piece was October 30, 2014 and it said the visited it on its second day open, so it's just under a year old.  But my image was that this was where well paid Google employees went for breakfast and lunch.  Translation:  Probably very expensive.  (In the end the bill was less than $20 each and we were all full.)

I remember the article had said there's no sign telling you it's there and so at the time I took down the address to find it.

Well, see that little white paper tacked onto the door?  It's as close to a sign as there is:

My first thought when we stepped inside was 'rustic.'  There's a huge counter with food from desserts to pastramis and lox to exotic salads and pizza.  And there's bread.

On the left is, obviously, pizza on the bottom.  On top nearest is a salad made of what they called sunchokes, but I know as Jerusalem artichokes.
We had some and it was very good.  There was also a potato and beet salad.

We were determined to go to the beach today after I went through my mom's mail.  I got through as much as I could stand - I'd like a law passed banning robot phone answering - and reluctantly drove.  I'd rather go by bike, but it was going to be dark on the way home and I'm still timid about street riding at night, especially with J.

So we got a couple of hours in at the beach.   I got to do a little body surfing, though the surf was small and choppy and came at different angles.  But even so the water felt wonderful. It's definitely warmer than it was when I was growing up here.  Once I dive under an incoming wave, I lose 50 years with the rush of the water all around me.  It's fabulous.  And when you catch a wave it's heaven.  If I had to pick a way to die, it would be in the surf.  I still remember body surfing on Bali in 1968 during a Peace Corps school break.  The surf was perfect and when we were resting on shore, my friend said he'd been worried about sharks.  My reaction was, that the surf was so good, it would have been a perfect way to go.  Then a coconut fell between us and I thought being killed by a coconut was not the perfect way.  Anyhoo, I thank my parents for moving to California when they did and ending up near the beach as a kid.

We ordered our food at the counter and got some table space in the back outdoor patio.  It was a perfect place to be with good friends and sit and talk. 

This is a peculiar and changing neighborhood.  The street that runs into restaurant has homeless tents and belongings along the sidewalk on both sides.  Remember, this is a block a way from the Google Venice headquarters.  There's also a huge Gold's Gym across the street.

I don't normally take pictures of homeless without permission and I don't like to ask so I rarely have pictures, but you can't identify this guy trying to sleep across the street from Gjusta's.

I did google after we got home to get a little more background and found that Bon Apetit magazine listed Gjusta, just this August, as number two in its list of America's Best New Restaurants.

In an odd twist I also learned that we ate at their sister restaurant nearby at a friend's suggestion last July. 

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