California / Continental / Restaurants/Bars


I wanted most of my trip to LA to be about discovery.  I didn’t want to plan too much out because I had the hopes of just stumbling across local favorites.  There was, however, one place I had heard about for so long that I was dying to go.  Gjelina was listed as a favorite on city guides, trendy blogs, and by friends.  When that many people rave about a place, it must be something special.  Also, when that many people rave about a place it’s not easy to get in.

I tried [and failed] to get rezzies in advance, but I was successful only because Albert and I happened to wake up early on Saturday morning.  We were strolling Abbott Kinney, looking for some breakfast when most stores were closed.  Miraculously, we walked into Gjelina and scored a table right away.  By 10 AM, however, the place was entirely packed, which proved two things: 1) Los Angelinos get moving much earlier than New Yorkers and 2) this place really is a hot spot.

We started with a half dozen oysters.  I know it seems weird to eat that so early in the day, but we had already been awake for a while and LA is just so sunny all the time that it still felt appropriate.  Next we got two entrées to share: a scramble with zucchini blossoms and ricotta and a duck confit hash with a mustard sauce.  The scramble is the way to go if you’re trying to be a bit healthier, while the hash was just plain good.  We also got a side order of thick cut, maple slab bacon.  For $6 I recommend adding it to any breakfast order.  I’m not a sweet breakfast kinda girl, but if I were, I would go for the pancakes because they looked picture perfect with the sauce sliding over the edges just so.

I may not have wanted to make much of a plan for my trip to LA, but Gjelina was worth a bit of a schedule.

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