While chef Govind Armstrong is busy this Memorial Day in the kitchen of his 2 1/2-month-old restaurant Willie Jane on Abbot Kinney in Venice, scores of Angelenos will be firing up the grill. To get ready for the second-biggest BBQ holiday of the year — July 4 is the biggest — Armstrong, who also runs the restaurant Post & Beam in Baldwin Hills, offers his advice on how to grill the perfect burger, whip up a tasty marinade and clean those dirty grates. June 1 is the grand opening of Willie Jane’s 4,000-square-foot garden, and on Saturdays Armstrong plans to serve a selection of grilled items on the patio. Turn the page…
Squid Ink: What would you barbecue on Memorial Day, if you had the day off?
Govind Armstrong: Whole sirloin cap. It’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get at most butcher shops. It’s slightly leaner. The flavor is unparalleled when it comes to many of the other common cuts; it’s one of those perfect meats to grill. I don’t grill at too high of a heat — my grilling is closer to a hybrid of grilling and smoking. It’s not a race.
My favorite thing to grill is probably soft shell crabs, because they’re so delicious. Little bit of salt, pepper, oil — that’s it. Toss in a little bit of garlic. Then, when they come off, a squeeze of roasted or crushed lemon and more olive oil.
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