Market Salad: Dandelion Greens, Herbed Vinaigrette, Toasted Breadcrumbs:
Pleasantly bitter, vibrant and a great way to start the day at Gjusta.
Thanks to @Bookwich for the recommendation! Their Pozole Verde was indeed lovely: It tasted like the most pure, vibrant Pozole Soup we've ever had. The piquantness of the Tomatillo, the brightness of the Herbs and Vegetables, the earthiness of the Hominy. The side of fresh, Housemade Toasted Wheat Sourdough to dip into the Soup just made it even better.
Market Salad: Asparagus with Bottarga:
The Asparagus were tender yet still crisp enough, but it was the pairing of generous shavings of Bottarga that made this dish really standout! The Cured Fish Roe... so distinct in its beautiful brininess worked so well with the Asparagus.
Sprouted Rye Toast (Almond Butter, Honey, Olive Oil, Sea Salt):
I love Almond Butter, and realized this might be a good way to try Gjusta's own Housemade, Fresh Almond Butter. Their Housemade Almond Butter is fantastic! So nutty and clean, it is just an excellent product. The generous spread on their fresh-baked Sprouted Rye Toast works well, except that we forgot how serious their Sprouted Rye Bread is! I like Grains, I love healthier multi-grain Breads, but Gjusta's own Sprouted Rye is serious business! It's hardcore Bread, dense (but really nutty) and it stood up to their own fantastic Almond Butter, Honey, Olive Oil and Sea Salt and just brushed it all aside.
I think this would be amazing on any of their other 7 different types of fresh-made Bread, but the Sprouted Rye is too bold I think.
I bought a jar of their Housemade Almond Butter for a friend of mine, and she's been letting me know repeatedly how amazing it is.
Mergeuz Sandwich (Tatziki, Cucumber & Radish, Fermented Chili Sauce, Pickle Red Onion, Herbs & Sprouts):
Because of course Gjusta makes their own Housemade Merguez Sausage. Yes, a new Sandwich has appeared, and in Gjusta-level execution, it is superb! Their Handmade Merguez Sausage hits you immediately with its Lamb-y gaminess, enticing notes of Cumin, Harissa, Coriander and other spices. It is really delicious!
Add in their stellar crusty, crunchy Housemade Sesame Baguette, the crunch of Pickled Red Onions, the refreshing Cucumber and Radish and Sprouts... and this is another standout Sandwich worth ordering. It might not dethrone @CiaoBob's legendary Prime Rib Butcher, but it's pretty good.
Sparkling Ginger Lemonade:
Their Sparkling Ginger Lemonade... so powerful, so bracing, a blast of Fresh Ground Ginger, Housemade Lemonade. So good!
Smoked Brisket Banh Mi (Baguette, Smoked Brisket, Pickled Daikon, Carrot, Cucumber, Cilantro, Chili Dressing, Garlic Aioli):
The one Sandwich on Gjusta's menu that we're not a fan of has been their Banh Mi Americano. It just doesn't taste like "Banh Mi" at all, even though their ingredients are impeccable. So against our better judgement we decided to try their Smoked Brisket Banh Mi. Mainly to try their Housemade Smoked Brisket.
This one held up better in terms of reflecting what a traditional Banh Mi tastes like. It still isn't there, but it's better than their Americano. Their Smoked Brisket is beautifully smoky, tender, but it's not the super tender, low-and-slow BBQ-style Brisket. More like smoky slices of their Prime Rib Butcher, but not as sublime. We'd probably skip this Sandwich.
Multi-Grain Porridge Waffle (Butter & Syrup):
The last time we ordered this, it was one of the highlights of our week. This is Gjusta's Housemade Multi-Grain Porridge, that they take and use as a base to create a Waffle out of it(!). This time it was slightly less crispy than the last time, but still nicely toasted and slightly crisped.
But with some of their Butter & Syrup...
This is an extremely nutty, aromatic, outstanding Waffle! Really unique and my favorite recently (along with Howlin' Ray's Waffle).
Veggie Sandwich (Whole Wheat, Roasted Peppers, Tomato, Fennel, Radish, Pickled Turnips, Avocado, Sprouts, Tahini):
It had been too long... Gjusta's simply named "Veggie Sandwich" is just so beautiful in its balance of flavors: The Roasted Peppers, Avocado, Tahini are the core of creaminess, mix in the Tomato, Fennel and Pickled Turnips that take your taste buds in pleasing directions, the Sprouts and Radish giving it that Spring-time note, and their Housemade Whole Wheat Bread. This is nothing like a typical "Vegetarian Sandwich" at all! My favorite!
Housemade Chili Hummus:
I confess, I'm now a Gjusta Chili Hummus addict! Darn you @A5KOBE! Why didn't you tell us about this earlier?!! (j/k) I finally remembered to look at Gjusta's To-Go Refrigerated Case, and I found the innocuous-looking container that @A5KOBE said was like crack.
Oh I wish I resisted the warning... I just tried some this afternoon with some Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips...
It is SO GOOD!!!
We couldn't stop eating it! In another example of ridiculousness, Gjusta makes their own Hummus, and they top it with a Fermented Chili Sauce, which is basically "Crack." It's got a noticeable heat that hits you with from the Fresno Chili, but it's mellowed out by the Fish Sauce and Grapeseed Oil. It's got this really crave-worthy savory aspect; that's really the best way to describe it.
And it is one of the best Hummus I've ever had!
On another visit, we met a friend and I vowed I'd just order a few Market Salads for lunch. And then I stupidly looked into their Smoked Seafood Case...
So... we started with a Market Salad at least...
Market Salad: Barley, Turnips & Swiss Chard Salad:
Farmers market fresh Roasted Turnips, toothsome, earthy Barley, and the soft, beautiful Swiss Chard. A great way to start.
Tuna Conserva (Olive Bread, Caper Aioli, Roasted Peppers, Salted Cucumbers, Radish, Sprouts, Tapenade):
Best Tuna Sandwich I've ever had! This is so much better than the one at Wax Paper (which is a good improvement over most Sandwich / Delis' version of a "Tuna Sandwich"). The Housemade Olive Bread is incredible, soft, pillowy, nice crust on the outside, the Caper Aioli was on point, the Radish, Sprouts and Olive Tapenade all add a textural contrast to the Sandwich, and of course the Tuna. It truly is so much more than just a "Tuna Sandwich." A must order!
And because of the glance into the Smoked Seafood Case, sigh...
Fish Plate (Small):
Cold Smoked Kanpachi:
It's back! Their amazing, supple, subtle Cold Smoked Kanpachi is so worth ordering! @MaladyNelson @bulavinaka @wienermobile.
Smoked Wild Black Cod:
Their Smoked Wild Black Cod was meatier, but still flaky and tender. It was a much more pronounced smokiness. So good!
Smoked Salmon Belly:
Their Smoked Salmon Belly has ranged from very good to the best that Gjusta has to offer. For this meal, it was perfect! Luscious, delicate, buttery, just outstanding!
Their Housemade Sourdough was excellent with the fish today:
Gjusta has a new Dessert Pastry. Which meant we had to try it once.
Their Housemade Choux Pastry shell is sufficiently light and delicate, and it gives way to the most amazing Praline Cream I've ever had! After taking one bite, and closing my eyes, I looked down and the rest of my half of the Paris-Brest was gone! Somehow it "magically" disappeared, devoured in seconds.
This is now a Must Order every time we go back! @PorkyBelly @Bookwich and others, don't miss this!
320 Sunset Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Tel: (310) 314-0320