The objective is not to skirt tradition but to give it a tuneup, with dishes that “show that it can be contemporary without losing the authenticity,” said Brad Johnson, the restaurateur behind Post & Beam and Willie Jane. If any dish at Willie Jane represents the new wave, it’s Mr. Armstrong’s vegan crab cakes, in which slivers of hearts of palm echo the texture of crab meat….



Fighting Los Angeles’ ‘food desert’ epidemic
A growing number of communities nationwide have limited access to healthy foods

For the first time in U.S. history, American children may have shorter lifespans than their parents – and the rise in obesity may be a significant factor. Experts say that the increasing number of communities living in “food deserts,” neighborhoods with little or no access to healthy foods, makes obesity difficult to tackle. In this America Tonight excerpt, Michael Okwu travels to one of those deserts in Los Angeles, and talks to people [Post & Beam] who are hoping to heal a neighborhood that was written off long ago – one healthy meal at a time….”


“Brad Johnson has come a long way since his teenage days working as a busboy and dishwasher at his dad’s popular New York City restaurant, The Cellar. Today, the second-generation restaurateur is the owner of two Los Angeles restaurants, Post & Beam and Willie Jane. Those are just his latest foodie hotspots…”



“A man of many pursuits, Brad Johnson has opened foodie hot spots and clubs on both coasts. You might credit the fact that he’s dinner-club royalty, the kin of New York restaurateur Howard Johnson, who owned the star-studded Upper West Side restaurant the Cellar in the 70s.”

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“Looking at its mid-century modern architecture, open kitchen with wood-burning oven and stylish outdoor patio and garden, it may be hard to believe that the two-year-old Post & Beam restaurant used to be the site of a fried chicken spot.”

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Any long-time Angeleno can tell you, the term “community” is one of this city’s more bedeviling concepts. It’s a catch-all and a euphemism; a designation that is as vague as it is deliberate.  Restaurateur Brad Johnson has been circulating L.A. long enough to know that real community here — a tangible one — is not just a matter of geography or proximity, but about creating a sense of common ground.

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“If you follow restaurants in Los Angeles, you have known about Govind Armstrong since he was a teenage prodigy on the line at the original Spago. In Venice, his Willie Jane is the most accomplished Southern dining room in town. But it is probably Post & Beam where you find Armstrong at his best”

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“After opening its doors more than two years ago in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaze, widely considered the pulse of Los Angeles’s African American community, Post & Beam is still going strong, packing in its neighbors as well as stars like Denzel Washington.”


“Foodies tend to move like flocks of birds, swarming a chic eatery, and then — swoop — off to the next. One of their newer perches in Los Angeles is in a part of town that hasn’t had much of the food spotlight. Post & Beam opened on New Year’s Eve in Baldwin Hills, an area with as many economic ups and downs as the hills and canyons that give the neighborhood its name.”

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“Dressed in stucco and wood, Post & Beam could be a prototype for a new line of restaurants by a big operator like Houston’s. But the interior is too personal, too idiosyncratic for that.”