From the moment you walk in you feel like the heavens have opened up and you are floating on a sensuous puffy cloud of all things yummy and good! Picture a very serene setting, in glamorous Beverly Hills and of course by a pool.
At the helm of Viviane’s glorious dining experience is Executive Chef Michael Hung. Chef Hung began his culinary career in New York City, dropping out of culinary school to work at two renowned NY restaurants Daniel and Aquavit. Chef Hung moved to San Francisco in 2005 and joined Traci Des Jardins’s James Beard Award-winning restaurant Jardinière, and then was appointed as Chef de Cuisine at Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie. Los Angeles was chose as his next city to conquer, opening Faith & Flower in 2013. Faith & Flower was voted Best New Restaurant by Esquire magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and Travel + Leisure Magazine. His newest project Viviane’s promises to be even better then other restaurants prior, and will garner him many new dining awards.
Kelly Wearstler is responsible for the design of Viviane’s; the new look and feel of Viviane’s embraces a revival of mid-century California in all its glory. The hand selected vintage furniture is from all over the world, colors reminiscent of past interiors from the 50’s and 60’s. Viviane’s interior is inviting, warm and provides a sexy modern vibe, but steeped in historic brilliance.
Here’s What I Tried:
Cosmopolitan, with Grey Goose Vodka, Lime Juice, Cranberry Cordial. It was nice and subtle, everything you would expect from this great cocktail.
Pineapple Punch with Hamilton Guyana Rum, Aromatic Bitters, Pineapple, Orgeat. This cocktail makes you feel like you’re on the tropical island under a palm tree. It takes you away from all of stresses of the day.
Chardonnay “Bien Nacido” 2013, Santa Barbara, Ojai Vineyards, this wine was perfect with the Caesar Salad, with its buttery oak finish.
Chardonnay, Bourgogne, 2012, Gilles Besson. Grassy and tart, went well with the dessert cheese plate.
Riesling, Erdener Treppchen Kabinett 2012, Meulenhof. This is not my type of wine but I enjoyed it with the Persimmon Salad.
Gruner Veltliner “Meeresboden” 2014, Santa Barbara, Tatomer. This wine worked very nicely with the Foie Gras.
Cabernet / Merlot / PT Verdot / Malbec, Médoc “Cru Artisan” 2010, La Tessonière. What can I say, a great match with the steak.
Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara county 2013, Tyler. I loved this wine with the ravioli, the mushrooms were the key ingredients for this tasty wine.
The Food I Tried:
Marinated Olives, Spiced Nuts, Pistachios, Almonds and Roasted Garlic. These olives and nuts just melt in your mouth. They are coated in olive oil and have a lovely crunch.
Pastrami-Cured Wild Salmon Tartare, with Ricotta Cheese, Spiced Pickled Squash. What can I say about this, every bite was just a perfect marriage of very high-end ingredients.
Foie Gras au Torchon with Candied Butternut Squash, Cider Gelée, Walnuts. The day that Foie Gras was banned from California was a really bad day for me; thank God it’s back, and back with a vengeance. This dish did not disappoint, the accompaniments are equally delicious as the Foie Gras. What an accomplishment!
Little Gem Lettuces with Spanish Anchovies, Pan-Fried Croutons, Caesar Dressing. As you can see from what’s in this salad it is a rendition of a Caesar salad, but much more fabulous. I truly feel that this salad is leaps and bounds above any other Caesar salad I have ever tasted, a must have for me.
Fuyu Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Wild Arugula, Honey-Thyme Vinaigrette, Sunflower Seeds. There is something about this salad that bridges the gap between savory and sweet. When the persimmons hits your palate it is sweet, but then you get a taste of the dressing and everything becomes savory. Either way you are spellbound in the goodness of the blend of both.
Ricotta Ravioli with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Roasted Corn, Brown Butter. This pasta is rich with mushroom flavors and the brown butter adds a smokey effect. It is fantastic ravioli, one that you must try.
Handmade Linguine with Geoduck and Manila Clams, Chardonnay, and Pan-Fried Breadcrumbs. The Geoduck is the part of this dish that I love, it is sweet but has a great clam flavor, and the linguine is just off the hook.
Shellfish Boudin Blanc with Maine Lobster, Scallops, Gulf Shrimp, Sauce Américaine. So delicate with the lovely Sauce Americaine and the seafood just melts in your mouth.
Grilled 12oz. Piedmontese Ribeye Steak with Bone Marrow Gremolata, Creamy Potato Purée. OK hands down the best steak ever, I can’t even describe it, just get yourself in here and order it.
Sautéed Broccolini Rapini, Garlic & Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This is a nice side dish, you have to be prepared though is it unusually bitter, but I adore rapini just the same.
Creamed Spinach, Pan-Fried Croutons, a better version of this dish because the spinach is not pureed it is left in large pieces, which just makes this dish more wholesome.
Milk Chocolate Crémeux with Bitter Orange, Basil Meringue, Pine Nut Crumble. Kind of like a mousse but with the basil meringue it really changed the whole mousse game.
Chef’s Selection of Five Cheese with Seasonal Mustard Fruits, Honey, Grilled Ciabatta. The five cheeses were all different and they were great choices, each with its own characteristics and a great way to end my glorious dinner.
Growing up in Los Angeles I have seen many places go through changes and Avalon hotel would be one of them. My grandparents lived right down the street to this iconic hotel. But even with many renovations they have always managed to keep its original essence the same. It was designed in 1948 by graphic designer Alvin Lustig, who famously created The Lustig Chair for Paramount Furniture. The hotel used to be called The Beverly Carlton prior to renaming it The Avalon. Back then there were some very notable hotel guests: Marilyn Monroe, Mae West, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz all frequented when they were in town. In 1999 Kelly Wearstler and her team were given the opportunity to bring the building into the new millennium, with lots of research they remodeled the space, deftly blending its old Hollywood roots with a distinct 1950s vibe. When you visit The Avalon and Viviane’s you know exactly what I mean.
I just can’t say enough about my experience; it is one that I will not forget anytime soon. Adding to the retro vibe is some eclectic music that you never heard before, and would want to know more about. My server Conor became my new BFF, he was very knowledgeable and made my experience super fun.
I would try to eat their ASAP, when the word gets out reservations will be hard to come by. It is a great place if your on a date or a causal dinner with your best gals pals, whom ever you decide to go with Viviane’s is a must in today’s Los Angeles culinary scene.
9400 W Olympic Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: (310) 407-7791