Gjelina Take Away (GTA) on Abbott Kinney
I just ate an egg sandwich from Gjelina's new GTA. Gjelina's Take Away. It was a bit greasy for my liking, however, tasty. I'm not partial to fried eggs, but considering it was Gjelina, I was open for a new fried egg experience that might change my utter disgust for fried eggs in general. I love an egg in every way imaginable, except, fried.
It's the gristly crisp ends of the fried egg that I abhor. Revolting, the ends of fried eggs with their slimy whiteness bubbling out. The idea of a fried egg nearly turns my stomach on the mere mention. But that's the only way GTA makes them for their "egg sandwich". The very friendly staff, all smiles and Venice casualness, the blazing fire going in their brick pizza oven, I trusted them to make my egg sandwich with care. The man helping me at the counter was sticking to the "no substitutions" rule: "the egg sandwich comes with egg, bacon, kale..." and I winced at the mention of bacon. "Um, I don't do bacon," I mentioned sweetly. "Can you add avocado?" I said in a sly coquettish manner.
"No substitutions." he stated. Sounded like a hard answer, no give.
"How about extra cheese? Tomato?" I teased. This was clearly going nowhere.
Given that I love Gjelina (the restaurant) I went with the "egg sandwich" rather than the beckoning berry & ricotta scone because I wanted an egg this morning. The berry & ricotta scone looked like a better choice for my belly, but for my willingness to give the egg sandwich a try.
"Do you have tea?" I queried. The line was growing longer behind me.
"No tea, coffee."
"Espresso, cortado, cortado dulce, Americano, iced coffee."
It was like the "chee-burger, chee-burger, Pepsi, Pepsi, Chips, Chips" SNL skit with Belushi. "No tea, coffee."
"We have limeade..." the peachy man at the counter suggested. Sounds good. "Okay, limeade then." I answered.
The limeade was fresh and absolutely delicious. Not too tart. perfect in fact, through my biodegradable straw. The egg sandwich, hot, wrapped in a plain wrapper, oozed. The kale, like greased cellophane, slipped around under the biscuity muffin, dripping a paprika-colored orangey buttery oil all over my foot, in between my toes. I took a messy bite while standing out on the sidewalk. I pulled all the unwanted ends of the egg white off so that I could manage eating the sandwich without repulsion. It might have been a good tasting egg sandwich, sans the grease.
It reminded me of New Orleans a little, the grease. Not really as heavy as a french fry po'boy, but it made me feel unsure after eating it just the same. It's not that I'm opposed to greasy food per se, depending on the type. What I mean is, there is a definite difference between 'greasy spoon' eating, like at a Waffle House in Gulf Shores, Alabama (I've been there) and a greasy from gourmet butter and oil kind of greasy. We know that Gjelina's Take Away uses good ingredients. So I was a bit disappointed in Gjelina.
I would have been happier with fresh kale, a poached egg, some Gruyère cheese, sun-dried tomato pesto, and a incredibly fresh out of the oven muffin or ciabatta bread. Just my little two cents.
It would not be fair to say that this review is complete, just from one quick visit. The menu looked delicious, with fresh salads and vegetables like beets and carrots, chopped kale, Bloomsdale spinach with farro. Aside from scones and biscuits with freshly made jams, they offer their incredible sandwiches and pizzas.
I have my next breakfast choice set: the berry & ricotta scone. I can imagine the taste with freshly made jam.