Renowned Los Angeles restaurant Gjelina opened at the 15th floor residency kitchen of New York City’s WSA, Manhattan’s venue du jour located at 161 Water Street in the Financial District last night. It marked the first service of a three-week summer residency for the Venice Beach-born restaurant, which is scheduled to reopen its site at 45 Bond Street later this year.

Chef Jake Epstein, previously of Eataly and Eleven Madison Park, who opened Gjelina in New York before the restaurant was shuttered after a fire in 2023, is behind the residency that will run for at least three weeks this summer. A spokesperson for WSA told Something Curated that there was a possibility the residency would be extended until later in July, and that it came about “organically” after founding partner and CEO at Gjelina Shelley Klein Armistead was approached for a Gjusta takeover for Flavors Cafe and was “blown away by the space” on a tour.

Epstein’s menus will change according to the availability of market ingredients, but the first night’s menu lent big into modern Franco-Californian in a number of dynamic, seasonal ensembles right across vegetables, meat and fish: zany sweetbreads au poivre with purple grits; hen of the woods mushroom with tarragon butter and lemon; bok choi with a black garlic vinaigrette; as well as more classic Gjelina plates like half roasted chicken with braised kale and harissa; duck confit with purple cabbage, mustard and cherries; and olive oil-poached halibut with romano beans, shallots and Fresno chilli.

Gjelina, which is named after founder Fran Camaj’s mother, opened on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in 2008, and soon earned a reputation for its produce-driven menus which optimised the best of Californian ingredients. The brand has expanded over the intervening years to now include the bakery Gjusta, GTA, a take away spot, Gjusta Goods retail store, Gjusta grocer, a flower shop, and apartment.

To make a reservation at Gjelina at WSA, click here. Dinner is Tuesday – Saturday, 5.30 p.m – 10.30 p.m.

Header image courtesy WSA.

Stay up to date with Something Curated