Amazing Salmon Belly, Oil-Cured Sardines, Lox, Herring and Rockin' Breakfast! - Gjusta

Well, that Olson’s thing took the wind out of my sale. But I was gonna’ post that Nate ‘n Al in BH has a really nice selection but doesn’t appear to have cured. Here’s their list:

Lox (Smoked Salmon)
Wild King Salmon (Nova)
North Atlantic Salmon (Nova)
Scottish Salmon
Baked Salmon (Kippered Salmon)

Why is it so hard to get cured? Is it more expensive to process? Or do most people just prefer smoked?

1 Like

Whole Foods on 3rd & Fairfax (probably other locales too) doesn’t have Classic Lox but has Gravlax (cured, no smoke). I told you I was obsessed. I called about 5 places. I should really get a hobby… Oh yeah, this is my hobby! The off-topic police’s heads are probably ready to explode right about now.


Their Instagram says they’re closed for reconstruction but I know they had a GoFundMe where they failed to reach their goal. We can hope they comes back…

1 Like

LOL!!! Awesome!!!

I do not know the answer to your question as to why it’s not around anymore.

Back east they were always belly lox. Maybe bellies have gotten cost prohibitive? Maybe the curing method is only good with bellies as it’s fattier and silkier?

I don’t know. Growing up, Nova was so much more expensive.

1 Like

:sweat_smile: Thanks.

I was thinking the same thing. Having grown up with Classic Lox on the east coast I just took for granted that Lox is Lox and Smoked Fish is Smoked Fish. I don’t eat enough deli these days to notice the dearth of Cured Salmon and I don’t mind Smoked and love Kippered, so. But now I’m craving a nice delicate Cured Salmon. Off to WF. It is so cool that Gjusta has all kinds! Lucky Westsiders!

Okay, so that makes the lack of Cured Salmon that much more odd. Because Nova is all over the place. Yep, must be the pricey Belly. :thinking:


Update 15:

With the recent visit to Wax Paper Chinatown, and all of their great Sandwiches, it also reminded me of our favorite versions at Gjusta. So in the interest of “research” (and to make extra sure our taste buds weren’t out of whack), it was time for a revisit. :wink:

Their wonderful fresh farmers market-driven Salad & Flatbread case (rotating daily):

The best Smoked Seafood case in the city:

Sparkling Ginger Lemonade:

As bracing, shocking, refreshing as always! I love that blast of fresh-grated Ginger, sparkling in their Housemade Lemonade. :slight_smile:

Wild Mushroom Flatbread:

This was a touch salty, but the layers of freshly-baked, piping hot Mushrooms, melted Cheese and toasted, crunchy Flatbread were still delicious.

Italian Sandwich (Ciabatta, Sopressa, Mortadella, Ham, Chopped Escarole, Tomato, Pickled Peppers, Fontina, Aioli, Red Wine Vinegar):

I loved Wax Paper Chinatown’s Larry Mantle (Italian) Sandwich, but as soon as I took a bite of Gjusta’s Italian Sandwich on this visit…

There’s no comparison: Their Housemade Ciabatta Bread (baked fresh daily, multiple times a day) has a slightly crunchy exterior (but still pliant), but then it gives way to the soft, airiness within (@ChineseChou no worries about cutting Bread here). :wink: Then you’re greeted by this incredible porcine flavor from their Housemade Mortadella and Ham, and the Sopressa Salumi - the level of quality of their meats is incredible! - then the Chopped Escarole, which feels like a great match in this Italian, the Fontina Cheese adds a bit of delicious fat and subtle funk, their Housemade Aioli and a bit of tart from the Red Wine Vinegar for balance.

Absolutely incredible! :heart:

Porchetta Butcher Sandwich (Horseradish, Chimichurri, Toasted Baguette):

Not to be confused with their Porchetta Melt (separate Sandwich), their Porchetta Butcher is as decadent, mouthwatering and luscious as always! :heart: The layers of lean and fatty of Roasted Pork are nicely seasoned, enhanced with their Housemade Chimichurri, but served simply otherwise, on Toasted Baguette (made in-house). It tastes fresh (no leftover / refrigerated Pork here), ridiculous in its lushness and porky flavors, and balanced! :blush:

Smoked Fish Plate (Small):

Octopus Escabeche:

Tender morsels of their Octopus Escabeche, as delightful as usual. :slight_smile:

Smoked Salmon Belly:


Seriously, this is SO INCREDIBLE I have run out of words to describe it! Lightly smoky, fatty, luscious and when paired with their Housemade Breads, it is one of the best bites out there! :heart: :blush: :heart: (@TheCookie @PorkyBelly @Gr8pimpin @wienermobile and others.)

Smoked Oil Cured Oysters:

Shut the front door! :smile: Seriously. These are like the perfect morsels of creaminess, light smokiness and some of the best versions of Oysters we’ve had recently, being Smoked and Oil Cured at Gjusta! :heart: So good!

Excellent Condiments to go with the Smoked Fish Plate:

The Heirloom Tomatoes were so ripe and naturally sweet, umami, that they made all 3 of our Gjusta Smoked Seafood case selections even better! :slight_smile:

A selection of their Housemade Breads always accompanies this Smoked Fish Plate:

The fresh baked Country Sourdough and Sesame Whole Wheat were standouts, lightly toasted, still soft, pilllowy, nutty, some of the best Breads in the city! :heart:

(NEW) Fig Coffee Cake:

Another new item that just somehow was great (as usual): Gjusta had a seasonal Fig Coffee Cake today! It was moist, lightly crumbly, not too sweet, with bursts of Fig flavor baked into the Cake itself. :slight_smile:

Hazelnut Paris Brest:

It’s back. One of Gjusta’s best Desserts / Pastries: Their Hazelnut Paris Brest (in the cold case next to the Pastry Case), the Choux Pastry was firm enough to hold the filling, and then you have that incredible wave of creamy, aromatic, delicate nuttiness that only Toasted Hazelnuts can give you. The Creme filling was light and well-executed. Served chilled, this is one of the best Desserts we’ve had recently. :heart: (@chinchi @PorkyBelly @J_L @Bookwich and others) :slight_smile:

Another Visit:

While we always enjoy Gjusta’s great in-house, fresh-baked Bread via their Sandwiches and Fish Plates, it had been a while since we bought some to bring home. And we were doing a comparison with some other freshly baked Bread at another place.

Country Sourdough (Half):

Look at the gorgeous color on that Sourdough! :blush: We were impatient and asked for a slice to enjoy immediately. :wink:

The crusted exterior has a nice textural contrast with the absurdly soft, airy center! The tang from Gjusta’s Housemade Sourdough Bread is what bread lovers dream of! :heart: :blush: :heart:

Outstanding Bread! :heart:

Gjusta sells their Fresh-Baked Bread as Half and Whole Loaves.

Roast Turkey Butcher Sandwich (Au Jus, Baguette, Roasted Turkey, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper):

While I really enjoyed Wax Paper Chinatown’s new Turkey Sandwich (easily my 2nd favorite in the city), Gjusta’s Turkey Butcher is, again, on another level. Gjusta actually takes the time to roast their own Turkeys daily(!), hand slice the Roasted Turkey per order, and that makes all the difference in the world.

It’s not some mass-manufactured (or refrigerated Turkey from days before): Fresh Roasted Turkey, sliced for your Sandwich order! :open_mouth:

It’s simple in its presentation: Slices of Fresh Roasted Turkey, their Housemade Baguette (also baked fresh daily), and that Turkey Au Jus, which is just all the decadent Turkey drippings.

This is what a “Turkey Sandwich” should taste like. (But never does at 99% of the places serving “Turkey Sandwiches.”)

It is incredible. :heart:

Veggie Sandwich (Whole Wheat, Roasted Peppers, Fennel, Radish, Picked Turnips, Avocado, Sprouts, Tahini):

If you ever wanted to know one reason why Chef-Owner Travis Lett and Gjusta is so standout, look no further than their simply named Veggie Sandwich. You might think that the “Veggie Sandwich” must be some throwaway item to appease the hamsters of Venice, the vegetarians who want something as the meat-eating customers are basking in the glory of Gjusta’s Prime Rib Butcher, Italian and beyond.

You would be wrong. :wink:

Many Chefs can make Bacon or Prime Rib taste good; it practically sells itself. But how many can make Vegetables sing? Chef Lett has a special talent for bringing out incredible flavors in Vegetables, and the Veggie Sandwich at Gjusta is a great example:

It begins with their made in-house Sesame Seed Whole Wheat Bread, toasted to enhance the Sesame Seeds’ nuttiness and aroma even more. There’s the textural contrast, as you get this lightly crunchy exterior, giving way to joy within: The Roasted Peppers are tender, almost silky, lightly sweet, then you have the Radish and Pickled Turnips, giving some tart and crunch, the Fennel is brilliant, adding this lightness, Anise-like taste, along with grassy, Spring-like Sprouts. It’s all brought together with creamy Avocado and their Housemade Tahini.

It sounds like a lot, but somehow, some way, Chef Lett works the magic. This Veggie Sandwich is simply OUTSTANDING! :heart: :blush: :heart:

I’m not vegan, nor vegetarian, but I could eat this every day without complaint, it is that good! :heart: (@TheCookie @Bookwich @chinchi and others.)

Italian Sandwich (Ciabatta, Sopressa, Mortadella, Ham, Chopped Escarole, Tomato, Pickled Peppers, Fontina, Aioli, Red Wine Vinegar):

Gjusta’s Italian Sandwich was so good on our last visit that we had to order it again. :slight_smile:


Incredible porkiness from their Housemade Mortadella and Ham, the Sopressa is beautiful, the fluffy Housemade Ciabatta, the Escarole, Fontina Cheese, Red Wine Vinegar, it’s a world-class Italian Sandwich! :heart: (@PorkyBelly @Ns1 @A5KOBE @Gr8pimpin @J_L and others!)

I continue to marvel out how much of a well-oiled machine Gjusta is. We rarely see Chef-Owner Travis Lett at Gjusta (probably more busy at sister restaurant Gjelina), but he has managed to bring together a well-run kitchen & staff, executing some of the best Smoked Seafood, Breakfast items, gourmet Sandwiches, amazing Breads, fresh Salads, Desserts, and more, at this casual, order-at-the-counter spot in Venice.

From outstanding Breakfast Sandwiches, one of the most incredible crunchy Waffles (Multi-Grain Porridge Waffle), soulful Chicken Dumpling Soup, incredible gourmet Sandwiches like the Prime Rib Butcher, Porchetta Butcher, the lovely Italian Sandwich, the best Veggie Sandwich in the city, an amazing Falafel Sandwich, the best Smoked Seafood selection around, some of the best fresh-baked Bread Loaves, and the list goes on and on, Gjusta remains a delight.

320 Sunset Ave.
Venice, CA 90291
Tel: (310) 314-0320


Also thinking that I find it hard to believe that though they called them belly lox, that people only cured the salmons belly. As a kid, I remember the guy at the deli counter, taking out a salmon and hand slicing the lox. I was always amazed at how perfect they were at slicing this stuff.


Thank you for that report!

You are killing me!!! I cannot believe I’ve never been and I’m in that area all the time.

That Italian looks incredible.

So that salmon belly, I know you had the smoked, but is that what they are curing for their classic lox? Do they slice their salmon/lox or is it served only in thick pieces like in the photo? (Which looks great too!)

Damn, I’m salivating here!


Yep, I was thinking that too. We keep thinking the same things. :wink: Btw, I got the WF Gravlax for tomorrow’s breakfast. Will post about it somewhere on the board.

Me too @Chowseeker1999!


Hi @Gr8pimpin,

Thanks. Oh! If you’re on the Westside sometimes, definitely stop by Gjusta. I think you’d like it. :slight_smile:

I think you’d love the Italian Sandwich there. Also give their Prime Rib Butcher (Sandwich) a try. The new menu is a bit confusing as they moved the Prime Rib, Porchetta, Chicken to a “Roasted Meats” section, and you can order as a “S” (Sandwich) or “P” (Plate). But yah, the Prime Rib Butcher. :slight_smile:

The way they cut if for the (delicious) Salmon Belly is only for that cut. Their Classic Lox, Cold-Smoked Lox / Salmon, Gravlax and other variations are all hand-sliced nicely. (See my very 1st post at the top, and scroll down a bit, you’ll examples of 2 of the Salmon there.)

Wait till you try it with their amazing Housemade Bread (baked fresh every few hours) and the condiments. :wink:


1 Like

Now I see the slicing! Looks great.
Thanks for all the info!!!

1 Like

A question, please. Do you know if they sell it by the pound for takeout or do you have to order one of these platter-thingies?

Their bread sounds great, but I’m thinking I’d pig out and slap some lox on bagels from Belles or somewhere and go for that true taste of home.

1 Like

You can def treat Gjusta as a fantastic deli and get their meats by the pound


Some tips:

(1) walk in and grab a number - to the right just before the cold case

(2) Gjusta bagels are pretty awesome, can get them all in one shot

(3) the fish platter is amazing because it is served with a variety of fish, great bread and their amazing condiments, yes you can get a platter to go.

(4) order some of their bagels and fish to go along with a slice of carrot cake

(5) prime rib butcher

(6) take a gander at their salad case, order up one if it looks good or the worker says it’s good


Hi @Gr8pimpin,

Yes, what @aaqjr @A5KOBE said. :slight_smile: You can get their selection of Fish by the pound. Also, nice tips @A5KOBE, but you forgot:

(7) Italian sandwich - @Gr8pimpin has been looking for a great one. :wink:

(8) Grab a bottle of their Housemade Chili Hummus from the cold case (as you said @A5KOBE it’s laced with crack! This is so delicious!) :smile:

Overall, @Gr8pimpin if you do stop by, definitely try a Small Fish Platter (you choose 3 different types of Fish / Seafood from their case). The condiments are out of this world, you get a selection of their amazing Housemade Breads (baked fresh multiple times a day), and they pair beautifully together with the various Cured or Smoked Seafood selections. :slight_smile:



Also do the open faced fish sandwich food hack.

Get it on a bagel open faced with the works and then buy an extra bagel to get an extra sandwich!


@aaqjr, @A5KOBE, @Chowseeker1999 @hungryhungryhippos

Thank you so much EVERYONE for the advice and seriously pro tips!!!

Sounds like I’ll have to spend about $500 LOL


Hah! I can be pretty cheap but I feel it’s an affordable luxury. Usually I’m in and out around 30$ a cortado, a sandwich + one more thing (maybe). And add another 20$ that’s the reason i go back to Charcoal too. Both places i feel like I am getting great food for the money


You may not have you been to a “real” deli lately. Canter’s charges $18 for a generic lox and cream cheese bagel. Fromin’s charges $36 for a small fish platter and also has the same generic fish as every other deli in town. Gjusta is comparably priced , I would say. The portions may not be quite as large, but the quality is much, much higher.


It def ain’t cheap! :wink: Not everything at Gjusta is a hit, but, when they get it right (and I think they get a LOT of it right), it’s really wonderful. Def not a place I can afford regularly, but I certainly don’t begrudge them the $, given the obvious quality.

And, as @Bookwich says, after Gjusta, you go to other places and think, “Why do they charge so much for crap?” Well, actually, I thought that even before going to Gjusta, but it’s much more stark afterward. :wink: