Leave it to restaurateur Brad Johnson to turn around his flailing Venice operation, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, lickety-split. With a new name and a new chef—fellow industry veteran Govind Armstrong—the Abbot Kinney space has been revived and adds another notch to L.A.’s Southern-food belt. Preserved lemon butter brightens a steamed mussels broth that’s shot through with bits of tasso ham; a sweet tea brine elevates a thick pork chop. The net effect, when you’re digging into these dishes on the back patio, is as sultry as a bayou afternoon. We wish the beverage list—mainstream wines and bland cocktails—matched the menu’s mood. » 1031 Abbot Kinney Blvd., 310-392-2425 or williejane.com.