Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.

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[Photographs: Kelly Bone]

Eating at Gjelina Take Away's requires a level of trust. Like its parent restaurant, Gjelina, there are no substitutions allowed, and with little to no details on the handwritten menu you don't exactly know what you will get. But Executive Chef Travis Lett has earned the right to be aloof with his menu; he continuously conceptualizes and executes spot-on dishes. So with faith, I ordered the Squash Blossom pizza ($13). My anticipation became palpable as the counter girl winked and said "You're going to love it!"

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After a short wait, I had a warm 12" pizza box tucked under my arms. Lifting the lid, steam scented with hints of milky cheese and aromatic oregano rose from the box. The base of the lightly sour crust, with large charred bubbles along the edge, was heavily loaded with full squash blossom, thinly sliced baby zucchini, splotches of creamy burrata and dotted with succulent cherry tomatoes. The tender ingredients were concentrated in the center, creating a wet crust of the Neapolitan variety fit for a fork and knife. The outer crust remained firm and chewy with shedding flecks of char. The crunchy zucchini countered the soggy center and the bright orange tomatoes provided little bursts of flavor with every bite. Unfortunately the namesake topping, squash blossoms, contributed little to this pie other than a summery name.

Gjelina Take Away

1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 (map)
310-450-1429; gjelina.com

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