Gjusta has really grown on me since opening on a Venice side street in 2014. The multi-faceted Venice food destination now joins Gold’s Gym in a neighborhood that’s alternately dingy and tech-fueled thanks to chef Travis Lett and business partner Fran Camaj, the duo behind Gjelina, Gjelina Take Away, and MTN. Gjusta’s many cases are a challenge to navigate if you’re indecisive. They serve smoked fish, roasted meats, salads, pizzas, and pastries galore, along with sandwiches and dinner specials. I like to switch up my order, but keep going back to their always-reliable rotisserie chicken.
Each chicken (half $16, whole $28) is available chile-rubbed or herb-coated, served on a well-worn stainless steel platter with skin-on market potatoes and a trio of house-made sauces: tangy tzatziki, herbaceous chimichurri, and moderately spicy harissa. Really, though, high-quality, well-prepared chicken doesn’t need any embellishment. Juicy white meat is another key to satisfying bird. Gjusta checks both boxes, and has sticky caramelized skin as a bonus.