Well, we can now cross this off our December wishlist! Another hit from one of our fave restaurant groups in the city, Bombet Restaurant Group (Terrine, Hanjip), Viviane* is the chic new spot reinvigorating the Avalon in Beverly Hills. Though Beverly Hills has plenty of great restaurants, it's occasionally lacking in youth and cool-factor. With a new look from designer Kelly Wearstler, Viviane certainly injects the area with a huge dose of cool, while Chef Michael Hung brings a California flair to his classic American and European cuisine. With the beautiful poolside setting, brand new decor, and stellar menu, it's only a matter of time before Viviane becomes the hottest brunch table in town.
The new Kelly Wearstler design features bright, beautiful colors, mid-century modern details, and fresh, contemporary elements like beautiful marbles, light wood tables, and succulent plants everywhere. Click through the below slideshow for photos of the great space:
The brunch menu is just as impressive as the new designs; with plenty of options ranging from pastries to pancakes to salads to cocktails, the menu certainly represents both the breakfast and lunch aspects of the meal.
With such an extensive cocktail menu, we had to try a few. As the bar program at Terrine is incredibly strong, we had high expectations...and the drinks did not let us down. We also ordered a cappucino (pictured above), which was the perfect size and really delicious: strong and not overly foamy.
First up was the American Spritz: a lovely, refreshing combination of Gancia Americano and Prosecco. A simple drink with a vintage feel, the Americano Spritz was still modern, refreshing, and too dangerously delicious to be drinking so early in the morning. Hello, boozy brunch.
We love a good Bloody Mary at brunch, and this take on it was perfect. It had all of the necessary elements-- a bit of spice, a rich, tomato-y flavor, and some good vodka-- without going over the top.
Now, onto the food. Our waitress informed us that the menu is all intended for sharing, and suggested 2-3 plates/person. We ordered 4 to begin with, but ended up at 6. I honestly think we could have had 3 total for the 2 of us (4-6 was A LOT of food, and we had to take some home). The portions are sizeable, but not huge, and everything was very well-composed.
We started out with the Sunny Side Up Eggs, which were served over Corned Beef and Cherry Tomato Hash and with a salsa verde. This was such a fantastic start to the meal. I love a good runny egg, and these were really perfect when paired with the tender corned beef and sweet/acidic cherry tomatoes. I loved whatever spices and seasoning the chef put on the eggs, as it gave the dish an extra little kick (that was enhanced by the salsa). I could eat this all day...and get very fat.
We also ordered a side of chicken sausage, which wasn't a necessary addition (in terms of our level of hunger), but was certainly a welcome one. These were seriously some of the best chicken sausages I've had: juicy, tender, and super flavorful. Yuuummmmm.
We had to get the lemon ricotta pancakes, and we're so glad we did. The pancakes were really light and fluffy, and the stewed fruits on top added a nice sweet element, without overdoing it.The granola on top added a nice crunch, and bolstered that made-for-Fall feel. Overall, we were really surprised by how light these pancakes felt, and the portion size was really spot on.
Since our eyes were apparently much bigger than our stomachs, we also ordered the Brioche French Toast. And in case you didn't think it got more sinful than that, this french toast featured a chocolate ganache filling (O), a fruit compote (M), and whipped cream (G). The french toast was a bit crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. Though this was brunch, I would eat this for dessert ANY DAY. So ridiculously delicious.
The Crispy Pork Belly was another fantastic dish. The pork belly came in small, ultra-crispy bites (almost like a fried, fattier pancetta), with a fried egg on top, and two crispy tortillas. The crispy tortillas and pork belly were really fun and delicious, while the spicy tomato salsa/sauce added a bit of a kick and a real depth of flavor. There was a dollop of cream on top and in between the tortillas, which added a cool, creamy element. All together, this dish was really well-balanced and very satisfying. It's the kind of dish that is fried enough to crave even during the worst hangovers, yet delicate enough to still crave when you want something light and delicious.
Our last main dish was a Pastrami-Cured Salmon Tartine; the salmon was cut thickly and placed carefully on ricotta cheese and a fully country bread. The spice pickled squash was a really nice addition, and overall, the dish was also very good. This would be perfect for someone looking for a breakfast option that's a bit lighter.
Because apparently this wasn't enough food, we decided to get the Meyer Lemon Tart to finish off our indulgent meal. The lemon was really light and refreshing, while the huckleberry fennel compote was sweet and fruity. My favorite part was the little fruity meringue, which was some of the best meringue I've had!
Overall, this was a really fantastic brunch. With the elegant design, beautifully composed food, and delicious flavors, Viviane provides a head-to-toe wonderful brunching experience. We were especially impressed by how the food managed to be satisfying and filling, without feeling overly heavy. Everything felt perfectly presented and very well-balanced; even the heavier dishes still felt surprisingly light. We would come back in a heartbeat, and are even considering planning some birthday festivities here!
Products/restaurants marked with an asterisk* denote gifted or free items/meals. For more information about how this affects my editorial policy, please click here.