Chef Travis Lett is out at his Venice restaurants Gjelina, Gjusta, and MTN. Eater has confirmed with multiple people that Lett is no longer running those properties, having sold his portion of the partnership in the overarching Gjusta Group to longtime partner Fran Camaj. News of the big potential split first came down the line last month by way of the LA Times; Lett confirmed his departure to Eater on November 20.
According to multiple sources that spoke with Eater regarding the situation (but declined to be named publicly), Lett’s deal with Camaj is tricky and heavily interwoven, which is normal for long-time partnerships in the restaurant world. Eater further reached out to multiple parties attached to Gjelina and Gjusta to hear their side, but has not been contacted back by any of them.
Sources say that Lett is still on track to open his large restaurant development in West Adams at site of the former Johnny’s Pastrami. Matt Winter of M. Winter Designs, who has worked with Lett a lot over the years, still has signage up on the wall out front of the building at 4327 W. Adams Boulevard, and from the other side of the fenced-off address it’s clear that the restaurant is very close to opening. The space should ultimately house both a standalone casual restaurant as part of the original Johnny’s Pastrami takeaway building, as well as a separate dining area in the adjacent building that will likely house some level of on-site brewery.
Got more info on what’s happening now with Gjelina and Gjusta, two of the Westside’s most popular and prominent restaurants? Feel free to hit the tipline; anonymity guaranteed.
Update 12:13 p.m. on November 20: Lett writes in to say that he has also sold his stake in MTN, the Venice izakaya.