Govind Armstrong and Brad Johnson Coming to Abbot Kinney
Remember all that drama happening over at Wolf in Sheep's Clothing? You know, the thing about them stealing the chefs from the Hart and the Hunter's menu -- and (unsuccessfully) replicating their fried chicken skin. Well, that's all come to a screeching halt. And chef Govind Armstrong and restauranteur Brad Johnson are coming in to pick up the pieces.
WISC closed on Saturday, and Armstong and Johnson are expanding their uber-successful Post & Beam empire West, opening up Willie Jane in the Abbot Kinney space by mid-March. The restaurant is named for Johnson’s 100 year-old Georgia-born aunt, and will offer chef Armstrong’s take on Southern American cuisine with an emphasis on low country coastal dishes (think gumbo, shrimp 'n grits and seafood boils), all meant to be enjoyed family-style.
Though the airy farmhouse of a restaurant already seems quite fitting for the theme, the team is bringing in Venice-local (but Kentucky-born) designer Rae Scarton. Bar Manager Phuong Tran will be creating a beverage program that will focus on a specialty collection of bourbon and a cocktail menu that includes seasonal libations and Southern classics.
We spotted Armstrong bellying up to the bar at the new Bludso's Bar & Que last Friday, perhaps to do some recon work for the project. (The team at Bludso's said he'd been swinging by regularly in his off hours.) Do we smell spiked sweet tea on tap? Here's hoping.