GTO at GTA

Take your lunch away in Venice

After a few years in Venice, chef Travis Lett is getting soft.

His new venture, Gjelina Take Away, is abbreviated to the dead-simple acronym GTA, and his notorious no-menu-substitutions policy now allows for omissions.

But Lett's renowned produce obsession has stayed strong, and eating lunch from GTA's deceptively basic sandwich and salad menu is like taking your mouth on a walk through the Santa Monica Farmers' Market.

Fish almost plays a backup role to the slivers of house-made pickled cucumbers and meaty lengths of roasted red peppers that fill the oil-poached tuna sandwich (pictured; $13). Olive-studded slabs of freshly baked bread, their texture somehow simultaneously airy and chewy, are apt bookends to this excellent sandwich.

Salads such as farro with chermoula or burrata-draped panzanella are scooped into small or large takeout containers ($4 for small; $8 for large) from an enticing display behind the counter. The rest of the tiny, sparse space is overrun with employees–one stretching a pizza here, another artfully pouring a latte there–making for plenty to watch while waiting for your food.

Those pizzas, which jumped next door from Gjelina's menu, are some of the best pies on the Westside.

Gjelina Take Away, 1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-450-1429