We were in the mood for some farmers market driven interesting Salads, so we stopped by Gjusta again today. But we got sidetracked...
Sparkling Ginger Lemonade:
Their fresh-ground, fresh-squeezed Ginger Lemonade is as wonderful and refreshing as always. Perfect for this muggy, hot weather we're having this week! It seriously picked me up on the first sip.
But it was my tragic mistake glancing over by Gjusta's Smoked Fish Case that side tracked us from their rotating Daily Salads.
Smoked Fish Plate (S):
Smoked Pacific Saury:
I was so excited to see Gjusta with yet another new Smoked Fish offering, this time Pacific Saury! The first bite is tender, luscious, naturally oily and strong-flavored. Like Mackerel or Sardine, but distinct in its own way. It's more "mild" than either of those two, but it's got this wonderful texture and ocean-briny flavor.
This was fantastic!
Paired with a little of their Pickled Onions and their amazing fresh In-house baked Olive Sourdough Bread, and you had one of the best Smoked Fish bites of 2016!
I was happy. But then I tried...
Yes, Kanpachi, the wonderful, fantastic fish that is usually found in the realm of great Sushi bars is now being Cold-Smoked at Gjusta!
Taking a bite: FANTASTIC!
The Cold-Smoking that Gjusta does is tempered, and it feels like they balanced it out perfectly to match the type of fish (their previous Cold-Smoked "guest fish" were all at differing smokiness levels that felt just right). It was the same here.
You get the subtle, delicate taste and flavors of Kanpachi (Greater Amberjack), along with just a touch of wonderful smokiness. This is one Smoked Fish that's even better and probably my new favorite Smoked Fish in the city. @MaladyNelson @bulavinaka @PorkyBelly and all. Do not miss this.
And a repeat of one of my favorites, their Herb Gravlax is as fantastic as always. Just look at how gorgeous and lush that looks! It tasted even better, especially with a slice of their farmers market Heirloom Tomato and their fresh-baked Olive Sourdough Bread.
The Heirloom Tomatoes also reflect on the restaurant: That their staff that go and pick the produce from the farmers market know what they're doing. The Heirloom Tomato was seriously one of the best Tomatoes I've had this entire 2016 Tomato Season! It was delicately sweet, with a touch of acidity, the way the best in-season Tomatoes should taste!
At this point, you would've thought we could've ordered some wonderful offerings from their rotating Market Salad case. But oh no, I also stupidly glanced at the menu, and noticed this:
Italian Sandwich (Ciabatta, Sopressa, Mortadella, Ham, Chopped Escarole, Tomato, Pickled Peppers, Fontina, Aioli, Red Wine Vinegar):
Yes, Gjusta has added a new sandwich on the menu. I'm normally not a big "sub / hero sandwich" fan, but our server assured us it was good.
Just looking it arrive and I knew this was something special.
This Italian Sandwich from Gjusta is THE best Italian / Cold Cuts Sandwich I've ever had! It starts with their own Housemade Mortadella and Ham(!). Their fresh-baked Ciabatta Bread (also made in-house daily), lightly toasted, with a crunch, but pillowy soft on the inside.
Their Mortadella, Ham and Sopressa are not overly salty, just wonderful cuts of top quality Charcuterie.
But it's balanced by the delicate Summery sweetness of their Farmers Market Tomatoes, and the Chopped Escarole (so much better than Iceberg Lettuce) gives it a nice vegetable / earthiness. The Pickled Peppers recalls that "classic Italian Sandwich" feel from eating at old-school delis, with a nice bit of heat, and the Housemade Aioli is delicate, but creamy, along with the acidity of the Red Wine Vinegar and the Fontina Cheese gives it just enough funk.
Seriously outstanding! This is SO GOOD!
Thinking about it, it's no longer surprising. Gjusta already makes the best "Tuna Sandwich" (it's so much more) that I've ever had; the best Veggie Sandwich I've ever had; the best Prime Rib Butcher & Turkey Butcher Sandwich I've ever had. Their Falafel Sandwich is the stuff of dreams (thanks again @CiaoBob @bulavinaka)!
So, when Gjusta decides to try and make an Italian Sandwich? Sure why not. LOL.
320 Sunset Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Tel: (310) 314-0320