On my Thursday off Jonathan and I decided to take a walk down Abbot Kinney and do a little pre-birthday peruse of his favorite shops, but first we had to grab a bite at GTA, Gjelina Take Away. The renowned restaurant came up with the ingenious idea of a walk through take away kitchen that just does salads, sandwiches, and pizza, and breakfast bites. The reclaimed “sit down” nook space next door gives it that Venice edgy homeless vibe: dilapidated but charming. You can pop a squat on a stool or squeeze on to one of the benches or boxes. It is actually perfect because it gives you somewhere to pause and eat, but does not encourage lingering, keeping the flow of people steady.
This time we went for the Guanciale pizza because I could not pass up anything with pig jowl bacon in the ingredients. Perhaps you’re the opposite and are immediately turned off but such a description; fortunately there are simpler, more traditional choices that won’t chase your appetite away. For us, the guanciale was exactly what we wanted, coupled with pomodoro sauce (Italian for tomato sauce/Gjelina trying to entice you with culture) Fresno chiles, mozzarella, and green olives it is really a simple pizza at its core. I am also a fan of the extravagant, over the top with toppings pizza, but in this case the guanciale just enough of an interesting tasty twist to take it from average to awesome. And at four reasonable slices, it is the perfect size for two people.
On a side note, while we were standing outside waiting for our pizza, which we did eat in the nook, first my friend’s ex-boyfriend walked by, and then Reese Witherspoon and a paparazzi man. What a weird day!