Exploring California – My visit to Venice
Venice is electric! While Malibu is one of my favorite places to photograph because it is lively, has plenty of wall art, and the sunsets; Venice has all of the aforementioned and you truly feel a part of something just even sitting here.
The boardwalk is busy. There are street performers, people on skateboards or bikes, and shoppers perusing the eclectic shops they have. I once found a purple summer sun dress here that I really liked.
Venice Beach is only 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles, and from LAX (Los Angeles Int’l Airport) on a good traffic day so it is convenient to get to. We parked in one of the residential streets off of Abbot Kinney Blvd since we were not pressed for time and walked to the boardwalk.
This sign announces your entrance to Venice Beach.
A little history- Venice was built in 1905 by Abbot Kinney, and it was designed to mirror Venice, Italy. While the Venice Canal Historic District does not compare to the Venice Canals in Italy, it is interesting to see how this resort town of Los Angeles has developed its own personality and made its own name over the years.
Rather than a bunch of chains stores, Abbott Kinney Blvd is home to many unique fashion, food and home décor shops. This is where Gjelina is located. It is a New American farm-to-table hot spot that has a restaurant and a take-away place next to it. I have read that they serve delicious pizzas so I really wanted to try one that I have not had before. Unfortunately, it was dinner time when we got to Venice and the wait was long so I bought a pre-made slice of my favorite pizza (margherita) from the GTA (Gjelina Take-Away). I have read a mix of good and bad reviews of Gjelina online. It seems the gripe is about poor service yet there is a mandatory 20% tip. Good review on the ambiance and of course, the food.
Interestingly enough, I was at the library this past weekend looking for California inspired cookbooks when I came across one released by the restaurant’s chef, Travis Lett. I decided to make the Pizza with Nettles, Raclette and Fresno Chile because it sounded different and not too complicated to make. Also, they have this particular pizza on the GTA menu.