Gjusta | 320 Sunset Ave., Venice CA | gjusta.com

The first time we went to Gjusta, I was blown away. The flavors coming out of that kitchen are ridiculous. That time, the Classic Banh Mi was damn solid, but waiting abnormally long for a sandwich while sitting on milkcrates was not so much fun. 

Most recently, I revisited and they've made some drastic changes - tables! However, there are not enough of them for the amount of people that come through this place, so be prepared to stand around waiting for your table (which can come after your food - ugh). On to the food...

Market Salads

We started with a trio of market salads - chickpea salad, buckwheat and cauliflower salad, and a baby kale salad. I loved all of them, but wifey didn't really enjoy the chickpeas. A few bites in, I found a whole sardine in there which explains why she stayed away from it. I loves sardines, but they should probably tell you that there are whole sardines in your chickpea salad.

DishRanker Market Salads Score:  +1

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage Pizza

The broccoli and sausage pizza was calling my name through the window - so I had to get it. I love all Gjelina and GTA pizzas, and this one is no exception. Great crust, and that sausage is just perfection. Only thing I would have like was it for it be hotter. Came out room temp - like when you eat pizza the next morning after a night of debauchery....

DishRanker Pizza Score:  +2

Banh Mi Americano

In my (sad) attempt to stay healthy since I got the pizza slice, I went with the Banh Mi Americano instead of the Classic Banh Mi (which is divine).  Big mistake. It's the identical sandwich as the Classic with pate, pickled daikon-carrot-cucumber, cilantro, chili dressing and garlic aioli - but with rotisserie chicken instead of testa. What a huge difference. The chicken was alright, and could be a great meal on its own at your family picnic, but if you're coming here, go for the Classic Banh Mi with the testa. It's pure decadence and lends itself perfectly to the other flavors in the sandwich.

DishRanker Banh Mi Score:  -1

Bialy Egg

Since we didn't have any breakfast that morning, we had to get our brunch fill of the day. We chose the Bialy Egg, which is a sesame bialy, egg, arugula, gruyere, harissa ketchup, and bacon. Unfortunately, this one fell flat on its face. The bagel was super chewy, the cheese was not melted at all, and that harissa ketchup sounds like a good idea, but leaves a weird aftertaste in your mouth. This is one of those that sounds good on paper, but needs to be fixed in the kitchen. 

DishRanker Breakfast Sandwich Score:  -2

We left Gjusta confused. We enjoy the ambiance and being part of the cool crowd, but the food just doesn't always live up to the hype. I think this place is better off as a market for picking up some delicious meats, smoked fish and breads, and having an awesome picnic. I don't know if we'll be back, unless I'm craving some of that testa. 

/