Restaurateur Stephane Bombet has been on a tear lately, with Terrine garnering praise and his Culver City Korean barbecue option well on its way. But first, Viviane, Bombet's return to Continental form with former chef-compatriot Michael Hung (the two were previously involved together at Downtown's Faith & Flower). Add in Terrine's Francois Renaud, who handles wine and GM duties, and suddenly this new Beverly Hills hotel hotspot is looking forward to what should be a bright future.
And, what's more: that future isn't far off at all, with the Avalon hotel and Hung himself working double-time to get the restaurant up and running. In the meantime, here are ten great things to expect from Viviane once it comes to life.
A format fit for all
Because this is the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, there’s a certain type of client predisposed to staying the night (and thus needing food the next day). But don’t be surprised if the menu and the decor still carry a bit of maximalist approach, as the team tries to put European tourists, small families, and hip couples at ease simultaneously.
Including all-day hours
In typical hotel fashion, guests will also be able to enjoy Viviane just about ‘round-the-clock, from simple morning breakfasts with scrambled eggs and bacon to roasted prime rib sandwiches for lunch. And perhaps beef tartare starters over a glass of wine at dinner. Even better: Hung is revamping the hotel’s in-room food at the Avalon, so if you’re really lazy you won’t even have to go downstairs.
New Continental cuisine
Chef Hung’s past as an East Coast kid growing up near Atlantic City means he spent his youth enjoying the vaulted classics of Continental Cuisine, from duck a l’orange on down. Look for a similar preparation and service style here, from the nice flatware to the pan-seared halibut. Except this time, they’ll be done with a farmers market sensibility, and Hung’s usual flair.
Always with a twist
Of course, heavy plates and deviled eggs don’t have to be stodgy, as Hung showed with the raucous Faith & Flower Downtown. Instead, be prepared for dishes to carry just the right amount of punch and intrigue, like a roasted and confit’d duck leg offered with a side of fermented turnips.
Yes, much like Bombet and Renaud’s Terrine, brunch will be a big part of the game at Viviane. Fried chicken and breakfast hash will be in play.
Plenty of French connections
Hung’s cooking skews French, and Bombet / Renaud are Frenchmen themselves. The results will be positively Parisian, with room on the menu for everything from breakfast pastries to macarons and even eclairs. Renaud’s wine list will undoubtedly focus on the region as well.
[Chairs from the outgoing Oliverio inside the Avalon Hotel]
Loads of hospitality
Bombet and Renaud are nothing if not charmers. The two have a knack for making everyone — from the older French couples strolling in for an early dinner, to the young late night bar drinkers — feel perfectly at home, which should come in handy given the mixed crowd that comes with operating inside of a hotel.
An indoor-outdoor vibe
Just like the previous restaurant iteration here, Mirko Paderno’s Oliviero, Viviane will be an indoor-outdoor eatery with plenty of seats. It looks to be nearly 150 in all, with some two- and four-tops out on the patio that surrounds the hotel’s pool.
With designs from Kelly Wearstler
The Bravo personality is completely overhauling the entire property, which includes Viviane’s space, as well as the pool-adjacent cabanas that are available for use. The final design is still under wraps, but Viviane’s Instagram account has been showing off loads of bright new color that could perk the place up quite a bit.
And a private dining enclave
Given Hung’s penchant for finer dining using French technique (and this being Beverly Hills), a private dining room for upscale dinners or work sessions seemed almost inevitable. Viviane's will be dubbed the Lifestyle Lounge, apparently.
9400 W. Olympic Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA