The culinary team behind the South Los Angeles eatery Post & Beam received the Los Angeles Times Gold Award, named for the late Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold. Founding owners Brad and Linda Johnson along with founding Chef Govind Armstrong share the honor with the current owners, Chef John and wife, Roni Cleveland.
The Los Angeles Times Gold Award is given annually “with the idea of honoring culinary excellence and expanding the notion of what Southern California cooking might be. The award celebrates intelligence and innovation, brilliance and sensitivity to aesthetics, culture and the environment,” described Gold in 2017, prior to his death.
Post & Beam was also added to “Jonathan Gold’s 101 List” during its first five years of operation and received a positive review from former restaurant and wine columnist S. Irene Virbila.
“At full strength, Post & Beam is an essential Southern California experience, a special night out where people dress up yet feel at ease and, as they walk out the door: happy,” said Gold’s wife, Laurie Ochoa in announcing the award.
Establishing itself as a South LA cultural institution, the Johnsons opened up the fine dining restaurant in 2011—its location adjacent to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall. Armstrong served as head chef, mentoring and eventually passing the baton to Cleveland. Last year, the Clevelands took over ownership of Post & Beam, keeping it a black-owned business.
“With the changing of the guards, John will benefit from business consulting and access to senior leadership as well as mentorship in the kitchen from Govind, while Linda and I will focus on extending the brand through Post & Beam Hospitality LLC,” said Brad Johnson.
Post & Beam focuses on “California comfort food.” The restaurant offers a variety of hand-stretched pizzas and traditional southern comfort food, using local ingredients. In addition, dishes are seasoned with fresh herbs and seasonal fruits, grown from Post & Beam’s garden, such as basil, rosemary, sorrel, and lemon verbena along with panache figs, cara cara oranges and Myer lemons.
“I consider myself a ‘working chef,’ and I love creating California comfort food. Comfort food is simple; yet it requires perfect execution, said Cleveland. “The secret ingredients to good cooking are love and patience. You can taste it in every bite.”