Michael Hung, former executive chef at Faith & Flower (and at SF's Jardiniere and La Folie before that), is opening a new concept called Viviane inside the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills with Stephane Bombet's Bombet Hospitality Group. Though Hung had helmed the large Downtown restaurant for over a year, he was looking for more opportunities that were in line with his culinary background, which leans toward fine dining with French techniques.
He'll employ the same approach at Viviane, which is slated to take over Oliverio inside the Avalon before the end of the year (Mirko Paderno recently vacated Oliverio to take up a chef de cuisine position at the upcoming Officine BRERA in Downtown's Arts Distrct).
Currently the hotel is undergoing a full redesign from Bravo's Kelly Wearstler, who will also transform the restaurant space on the ground floor. Oliverio plans to stay open until the team can conduct a quick three day closure and re-opening that'll encompass a completely new look for the sleek environs. That won't happen at least for a few months, according to sources.
The 140 seat restaurant will have a similar indoor-outdoor feel as Oliverio. Hung, who sports an MFA in fiction, references the Lady of the Lake (and ruler of Avalon) with the restaurant title Viviane. Bombet is also in the process of building a new Culver City restaurant with Chris Oh.