The Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills just got a brand new restaurant, Viviane. Opened by restaurateur Stephane Bombet of Bombet Hospitality Group and Executive Chef Michael Hung, the American and European Continental eatery features an expansive wine list starring California and French bottles and a menu inspired by the mid-20th century.
Chef Hung has gone from cooking in New York City kitchens at Daniel and Aquavit to San Francisco where he fell in love with the California produce. After working for Traci Des Jardins at the James Beard Award-winning Jardinière and being the Chef de Cuisine of Roland Passot’s Michelin-starred La Folie, Hung decided to open Faith & Flower in Los Angeles. This is when he and Bombet met and eventually formed the idea for Viviane.
“Continental cuisine is a part of my childhood experience. My parents took me to great restaurants like the 21 Club, and other fine dining restaurants in New York and Atlantic City,” explains Hung. “It is a part of my memory, and also a part of the collective American memory because so many of the flavors in Continental cuisine are embedded in our modern culinary fabric. I want to revive these classic dishes, make them approachable but still elegant, and layer them with a complex progression of flavors.”
The menu includes his unique spins on traditional plates, like Duck à l’Orange, Lamb with Mint Sauce and Lobster Thermidor. Other standouts include the Ricotta Ravioli, Soft Cooked Duck Egg, Shellfish Boudin Blanc and Handmade Linguini.
“As a chef in Los Angeles, I have access to the best produce, seafood, and meats in the country, product that was unavailable in the mid-20th century. Modernism in cuisine entails weaving in gentle twists with the new bounty we have, without straying too far from tradition," says Hung.
As if the food wasn’t a big enough draw, the space’s design is awesome. Thanks to designer Kelly Wearstler, the restaurant has a very 1950s-60s aesthetic, with vintage furniture and era-inspired colors, like turquoise and gold. With its prime spot near the hotel pool, guests have the option of sitting in the dining room or outside in cozy cabanas.
Viviane is open for breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and weekend brunch.