“Biscuits, beignets, bottomless mimosa brunch.” were the only words I needed to read via text from a friend in order to immediately secure a reservation at the Abbot Kinney hot spot: Willie Jane. It really was as simple as that. I was thrilled to discover we could practically have “all that and a bag of chips” (as I like to say) at Willie Jane – a place I’d heard quite a bit of buzz about but hadn’t yet had the pleasure of paying a visit myself. I love me some good ol fashioned Southern food, Texas BBQ could basically be my middle name, but admittedly I’ve never been very familiar with “Low Country Coastal Southern cuisine”, a description of the kind of food to expect at Willie Jane, as dubbed by Open Table. In my head I was thinking Low Country Coastal Southern cuisine must g0 something like this: “biscuits… beignets… crawfish… grits?”. And gold star for me as most of these items were indeed offered on the brunch menu, but it was a wonderful eye opening opportunity to discover and try so many dishes I’d really never had the opportunity to have prior to brunch at Willie Jane.
I’d be the last person to let you know whether or not everything on the menu was “authentic” but, I will say, everything ordered (which included said beignets for an appetizer, buttermilk biscuits with honey butter, burrata/peach salad, and smoked brisket hash) was a far cry from a disappointment – quite the opposite as you may imagine simply based off of dish titles. I will ALSO say, that during my meal I eves dropped on a table behind me whom I thought were actually complaining, but when I was able to hear the conversation, 4 women with the thickest Southern accents could not have praised their meal more to their waiter; I heard “that was the best ____ I think I’ve ever had” numerous times. That right there was reason enough, besides the bottomless mimosas thing, to be excited for a Willie Jane meal.
Willie Jane certainly runs with their “Southern” influence theme if you will but it’s done in the most tasteful, understated way – from simple/sweet decor to the menu itself, it’s a great way to experience the perfect mash up between “Southern” and “farm driven” Southern California cuisine. As mentioned, I myself had not had the pleasure of ever having enjoyed a beignet (which is totally unacceptable, I’m aware), I’d never really had what may be considered “authentic” biscuits, and even though I may never have grits thanks to My Cousin Vinny… call me crazy, but I think chef Govind Armstrong truly found a wonderful niche in Los Angeles, which is incredibly difficult to achieve these days. I’m not entirely sure I could find a meal quite like that one anywhere else in this town, and that’s… pretty fucking cool as far as I’m concerned. Not to mention, as literally just discovered 5 minutes ago via the world wide web, Govind Armstrong was named one of People’s “50 most beautiful people”. So on that note, it doesn’t hurt that a total babe is the mastermind and chef mysteriously behind the scenes cooking your dishes…. let’s just pretend he cooks all of them.
I’m looking forward to coming back to check out the dinner, but the weekend brunch at Willie Jane is a must. A heavy must, but a must. Oh and did I mention? THEY HAVE BOTTOMLESS MIMOSAS FOR $15! And most of the restaurant is located on a two level large *covered patio so you are free to soak in that Venice beach salt air surrounded by wafting smells of biscuits and waffles and copious amounts of OJ and Champagne. What about all that doesn’t sound amazing?