Willie Jane, Govind Armstrong’s Venice restaurant, has closed

Willie Jane restaurant, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, has closed.
Willie Jane restaurant, on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, has closed.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times )

From a new modern Mexican restaurant in Pasadena to the closing of a Venice staple, here’s what’s happening in the L.A. world of food and drink.

Venice shutter: Govind Armstrong has closed his Venice restaurant Willie Jane after four years on Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The restaurant’s last night of service was Sunday. In his restaurant review, Jonathan Gold described Willie Jane as “kind of a fantasy mashup of Low Country cuisine with farm-driven California presentation.” Some of the more memorable dishes included the buttermilk biscuits and the shrimp and Anson Mills grits. You can still experience Armstrong’s cooking at his Crenshaw restaurant Post & Beam, No. 74 on Gold’s 2016 Best Restaurants list1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.

Pasadena barbacoa: Maestro, a restaurant billing itself as offering “modern Mexican fine dining,” is scheduled to open in Old Pasadena on Jan. 6, in the former Azeen’s Afghani space. Chef Daniel Godinez, who is also behind the Anepalco restaurants in Orange County, will be making lamb barbacoa, chicken mole tacos and chilaquiles. The bar program will specialize in mezcal and tequila cocktails. 110 E. Union St., Los Angeles, (626) 787-1512,

Pier dining: Tower 12, a new restaurant by chef Brendan Collins (chef-owner of Birch in Hollywood) is scheduled to open on the second-story deck of the Hermosa Pier early next year. The menu will include wood-fired pizzas, plenty of bar bites, sandwiches, salads and larger entrees. There will be two bars serving cocktails, wine and 30 local beers on tap. And everything will come with an ocean view. 53 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach,


Brentwood’s new neighborhood restaurant: Bottlefish, a new restaurant from Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, the founders of California Pizza Kitchen, is now open at Brentwood Gardens. The restaurant specializes in responsibly sourced seafood with raw seafood platters, smoked trout dip, black cod meatballs and sautéed branzino with curried lentils and cucumber labneh. There’s a 36-seat patio, 88-seat dining room and a 16-seat bar that overlooks the restaurant. 11677 San Vicente Blvd., Suite 200, Brentwood, (310) 954-9495,

Chicken parm on Sunset: Sycamore Tavern, a new 10,000-square-foot restaurant by the Happy to Serve You Hospitality Group (Black Market Liquor Bar, Scopa Italian Roots, the Local Peasant and the Chestnut Club), has opened on Sunset Boulevard. The menu includes chicken parm pizza, smoked chicken wings and a deep-fried flutter-nutter dessert. The restaurant serves craft beer and cocktails, and has more than 55 flat-screen TVs. 7038 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 467-7038,

Knuckle and Claw: Both the Silver Lake and Santa Monica locations of the Knuckle & Claw restaurant have closed. Owners Nikki Booth and Chloe Dahl opened the Silver Lake location in March 2015 and a second in Santa Monica earlier this year. Knuckle & Claw was known for its lobster rolls and Dungeness crab rolls.

Still hungry? Bruce and Eric Bromberg of the Blue Ribbon restaurants in New York City have signed on to open a new one at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas next spring. Katsuya Hollywood will launch omakase dinners every Monday beginning Jan. 23. Fork in the Road, the Santa Monica restaurant that closed last year because of a fire, has reopened. 


Is it happy hour yet? Follow me on Twitter & Instagram @Jenn_Harris_


Where to dine out on New Year’s Eve

Jonathan Gold’s 10 best dishes of 2016

A French chef makes a plate of vegetables into a work of art

Get our weekly Tasting Notes newsletter