15 May Southern Cooking at Willie Jane on Abbot Kinney
Govind Armstrong has come to the west side and brought traditional Southern Country cuisine. I first met Govind when I began working in the wine and spirits industry over a decade ago when he owned Table 8 on Melrose Ave. Over the years I would ask him when he would open something on the West Side of LA and he would tease me that he was looking into it but couldn’t tell me where or when. And now it is time!
Partnering with restaurateur Brad A. Johnson, Willie Jane is located on Abbot Kinney in Venice and named after Johnson’s aunt who just turned 100 years old. Govind has created a menu of traditional Southern cuisine with a modern flair, featuring local market-fresh products. The restaurant sits in what looks like a old home. You walk up the stairs at the entrance and walk into the bar. From the bar, it flows into another room of tables and then out onto a patio that feels like someone’s backyard porch.
We made a quick stop at the bar for a cocktail before moving to our table on the patio.
Coal Miner’s Daughters (Bourbon, macerated ginger, lavendar honey, lemon juice) – The cocktail menu stays within the Southern theme and offers classic cocktails like the Coal Miner’s Daughter, Sazerac, Vieux Carre and cherry lime rickeys.
Fresh Garden Goodies with fresh butter and salt – As we sat on the back porch eating fresh radishes from the garden that we dipped in sweet creamy butter, it felt like we were at a neighbor’s house for dinner.
Buttermilk Biscuit with Burnt Orange Honey Butter – The honey butter melted as we spread it on the hot fresh biscuits….these are not to be missed!
Oak Leaf Lettuces with Sunchoke, Roasted Grapes, Point Reyes Blue and Pumpkin Seed Dressing – A light salad is a nice addition to all the heavier Southern cuisine on the menu
Brown Butter Turnips and their Greens with Beef Bacon and Medjool Date Mostarda – ‘Brown butter’ are always magic words and the turnips were perfectly cooked. It was fun to see beef bacon used to give an added richness to the brown butter.
Sweet Tea Brined Pork Chop, Wilted Greens, Date Mostarda – Recommended by our server, this dish did not disappoint. The pork was tender, juicy and sweet, not not overly sweet.
Grilled Prime Flat Iron with Sunchoke, Wild Ramp Salsa Verde and Asparagus – Another dish in which the meat was perfectly cooked – tender and full of flavor.
Southern cooking at the beach is a perfect combination and I look forward to returning for more comfort food (and some cocktails).
1031 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90291