A Birthday at Gjelina

26 May

Monday, May 23rd, was my best friend’s 24th Birthday. Jordan has been my friend since junior high, so I’d say it’s been a solid 10 or 11 years now. For her celebration, she wanted to have a get together at Gjelina in Venice Beach. I have been dying to go here ever since she told me about it months ago! Coincidentally, a big article came out the week before in the LA Times food section about Travis Lett, the head chef at Gjelina. After reading the article, my mouth was literally drooling and I began counting down the days until my lips were wrapped around the much-talked-about mushroom toast.

The birthday girl and me!

My love

Travis ordered a couple of beers. This first one was “too hoppy” he said.

Wood-roasted cauliflower with chili, garlic, and vinegar

The wood-roasted cauliflower was delicious. Tender but still crisp, with a touch of vinegary tartness.

Pizzas to share

The pizza in the back is mushrooms with goat cheese, fontina, and truffle oil.

The pizza in the foreground is lamb sausage , confit tomato, rapini, pecorino, and asiago. Travis and agreed the lamb sausage pizza was absolutely delicious. Lamb sausage…WOW! There was mint in the tomato confit that I could have done without, but I would order it again in a heartbeat.

I loved that they brought a small plate of pizza condiments to sprinkle at our leisure.

It will change your world.

I think the mushroom toast was my favorite dish. The bread was fresh and crisp with a chewy middle, and the mushrooms were so meaty and buttery. I can’t really find the words to describe it, but promise me that you will order it if you ever go. Promise???

Braised pork meatballs with toast

These were out of this world

The interior, kind of blurry

Um, yum.

Jordan made her own birthday cake. It was a banana cake with chocolate espresso ganache and candied walnuts and peanuts. It, like everything else we ate that evening, was amazing!

It was a great evening! Amazing food, wonderful friends, and a button-popping birthday cake…how could it not be great??

Happy Birthday to my dear friend!

I have to run! I’m late for a Kung Fu Panda 2 date night with Travis!

We are kids at heart.


2 Responses to “A Birthday at Gjelina”

  1. Mom and Dad May 26, 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    Lolomo, Mom and I agreed that the mushroom toast looked just divine and the meatballs had Dad drooling… We are glad you guys all had so much fun. See you on Monday for the big barby for Decoration Day.

    Love you Pal, Mom and Dad

  2. Madeleines and Marathons May 28, 2011 at 6:49 am #

    Thanks so much for coming! It was a fun night. Remind me to tell you a funny story about that Cauiflower!

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