LAReview

Gjusta review image
8.7

Gjusta

$$$$(310) 314-0320
Hours:TUESDAY7:00AM to 9:00PM

Unless you’re new to eating in Los Angeles (in which case, hi there, we hope you like crudo and little gem salads), you probably don’t need us to tell you about Gjusta. You’ve likely read about the Venice deli/marketplace on some guide, or saw a micro-influencer post about it on Instagram. Or perhaps you’ve already eaten here yourself. Either way, you probably also know that Gjusta can be a complete and utter scene—a wasteland of the tannest, most attractive people on earth, all of whom are currently standing between you and that beautiful tuna conserva sandwich. Lines are long, the ordering system is archaic and complex, and there’s not a discernible parking lot in sight. So, is Gjusta worth the hype?

Gjusta review image

Photos by Jakob Layman, Benji Dell

Short answer, yes. But that love is conditional, the way you feel about a television show that keeps hinting it might kill off your favorite character. There’s a correct time and place to come to Gjusta—show up on a weekend or particularly sunny Friday, and expect a significant wait. Although there was a brief moment when they offered table service, Gjusta has gone back to its roots, a semi-chaotic ordering system where you take a number, wait to be called, then order at the counter. Although, real pros know to order ahead on Toast. Gjusta has also greatly expanded their patio in the last few years, which used to only be a small section at the back of the restaurant. Now, it’s an entire parking lot affair, which means there are a ton more tables to snag. Be warned though, we’ve seen people go full Battle Royale over these highly coveted seats.

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Imagine the most charming bakery or deli you've been in, either in real life or in your dreams. Now multiply that by ten. Cases here are piled high with smoked fish, pastries, salads, and pizzas that change depending on the day. Sandwiches are almost second to none, especially our favorite, the tuna conserva. And if you can get past the roast chicken’s high price tag—$36—it’ll ruin every other rotisserie in the city for you. You can order almost anything at Gjusta and be confident that it will taste extremely good, even after all the fuss it took to get it to your mouth.

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So, yes, Gjusta is a hassle. You’ll curse the Westside whenever you roll up at 1pm on a Wednesday and see a long line snaking down the block. You might break down the moment someone beats you to a table. But we also know that we’ve never taken a bite of the tuna conserva and thought, “Eh, this wasn’t really worth it.”


Food Rundown

Tuna Conserva

If we could only eat one sandwich for the rest of our lives, it would be this. It’s a slick, oily sandwich packed with roasted peppers, olive tapenade, and crunchy sprouts that will make you question if you’ve ever really eaten sprouts before.

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Bagels

Of course Gjusta makes good bagels—they’re blistered and golden on the outside, and dense and tender on the inside, with a strong malty smell that brings to mind freshly brewed beer. Served open-faced, there’s an entire farmers market’s worth of produce on here and house-made gravlax stacked on top, a testament to why Gjusta has so many devotees.

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Pastries

In addition to a full food menu, this Venice establishment has a huge variety of bialys, bagels, and sourdough loaves and baguettes. You’ll want to try everything, and their baguettes are hard to beat, but focus on the pumpernickel and olive loaves if you haven’t had them before. Even the butter you hopefully spread on top will be in awe of their herby notes and spongy texture.

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Bialy Egg

This is not your typical Thomas Original English muffin breakfast sandwich. The crust has the perfect squish-to-crunch ratio, and its airy inner craters sop up the egg yolk and savory grease that’s intermingled with collard greens and dripping in habanero hot sauce.

Meats And Cheeses

As the undisputed king of the Westside, it should come as a surprise to no one that Gjusta has a top-notch selection of meat and cheese. Big, marbled hunks of prosciutto are sliced to order. Come any day of the week, and you’ll find cases filled with citrus-flavored goat cheese, rich rounds of the Bay Area’s Cowgirl Creamery, and pâté de Campagne – a delicious country ham studded with nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

Tomato Confit and Burrata

A nice, simple sandwich topped with roasted tomatoes—shriveled up and full of flavor—plus a bit of burrata, salt, and pepper. The only problem with eating the tuna sandwich for eternity is that we couldn’t eat this one.

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Smoked Fish Plate

These people know how to smoke a fish. You pick from the case (we like the herb gravlax and trout collar), then they’ll make you a plate with labneh, pickled vegetables, and some very tasty toast.

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Pasture Raised Chicken

This massive, whole chicken arrives either rubbed in chili or herbs, and accompanied by a trio of sauces—tzatziki, harissa, and chimichurri. $36 is a lot to pay for chicken, but we love this one so much, it doesn’t even matter.

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Reuben

You probably head to a Jewish deli for your reuben fix, not a place populated by cool tourists and locals who are very good at wearing hats. But this is a solid version of a classic sandwich, especially for Westsiders who don’t need to schlep to Langer’s this week.

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