L.A.’s Best Day Trip

Contributing editor Carolynn Carreño takes us on a low-key “daycation” of strolling canals, bohemian shops, and gourmet cafés in her favorite neighborhood, Venice Beach.

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Venice Beach restaurants
Photographer Thomas J. Story

Hot Spot

The west side of Los Angeles isn’t known for its restaurants, but Gjelina (1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310/450-1429 or gjelina.com), which opened last year, is challenging that. It’s packed day and night―both the front room, with a large bar counter and floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto AK, and the lovely brick patio, where regulars lounge comfortably on couches around a fire pit as though in their own back-yards. The kitchen turns out thin-crust wood-fired pizzas with such toppings as grilled radicchio, bacon, fontina, and tomato confit. The roasted half chicken alone, with its crispy, perfectly rendered skin, is worth whatever it takes to get there.

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