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Travis Lett's Newest Venice Project Will Be an Izakaya

Or so he says.

The proposed site of Lett's next project
The proposed site of Lett's next project
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Here's an interesting tidbit, pulled straight from the depths of a Condé Nast Traveler story on Travis Lett. The Gjelina/GTA/Gjusta chef is still planning a second full restaurant on Abbot Kinney, and this one will focus on seasonal Japanese cuisine.

It's been known for years that Lett wanted to open up something just down the street from Gjelina, though with the rise of Gjusta in Venice — and all the blowback that place has gotten — it seems he's been a bit preoccupied. Now the farm-to-table chef is turning his attention back to Abbot Kinney, per the story, with hopes to reveal his so-far-nameless restaurant by the end of the year. Lett tells Traveler:

"It will have an izakaya feel," he says, "but with a Japanese farm-to-table sensibility that we really don’t see in the States too much. Japanese food, as we know it, is sushi primarily. White rice and teriyaki—stuff like that. But there is a seasonality to Japanese food, and my parents ate all that. I’m paying homage to my childhood exposure. It kind of completes the circle."

And indeed it seems that works is underway to make that end-of-year dream come true. Here's a long-pending ABC license from Fran Camaj (Lett's longtime partner) showing the address for the place, and as far back as 2011 there was talk that the place could be opening imminently.

Lett tells Condé Nast that he's been taking trips to Japan often to learn up on the cuisine and get inspired, and hints more specifically at the cuisine in saying that there may indeed be plenty of vegan offerings. For now, Lett's as busy as ever making breads and managing things at Gjelina and Gjusta — just don't be surprised if sometime later this year, after a long, long delay, you see him in the kitchen at his new place, steps away on Abbot Kinney.

1305 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA


1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, , CA 90291 (310) 450-1429 Visit Website