At Willie Jane, the new restaurant he runs with Johnson on Abbot Kinney's restaurant row, Armstrong's style has become more refined yet — it's kind of a fantasy mash-up of Low Country cuisine with farm-driven California presentation, heavily reliant on the sharply tart notes that have become his trademark, and heavily reliant on Geri Miller's urban farm Cook's Garden, which happens to be right next door.
You may know shrimp and grits as the saucy, hammy breakfast dish you find everywhere in Charleston. Armstrong's version involves chile-marinated grilled shrimp, more Caribbean than South Carolina, with a small lake of organic Anson Mills grits and a kind of roasted pepper ragout. It is as close to Low Country shrimp and grits as New Orleans barbecued shrimp is to barbecue, and when you eat it, semantics don't come into play.For dessert, the raisin-oatmeal cookie sandwich will more than suffice. [LAT]
[Photo: Elizabeth Daniels]
B-Rod gives three stars to chef Walter Manzke for his upscale Mexican street food at Petty Cash on Beverly: "Petty Cash takes the city's most iconic food and turns it relentlessly trend ... If you worship at the church of street food, you ought to hate this place ... The truth is that Petty Cash works. It works partly because of its components, and partly in spite of them ...Petty Cash is aiming for a middle ground, somewhere between tradition and creativity, with all the trappings and fun of an of-the-moment Hollywood restaurant. In that regard, the place has succeeded mightily." [LAW]
The Elsewhere: Darin Dines at Connie & Ted's, Food GPS hits Jitlada, Midtown Lunch tries Kimukatsu, kevinEats at EMC Seafood, e*star LA treks out to Maruhide Uni Club, and OCW talks about Milk Barn Pizza and Dairy.