Viviane.

A2 Rating Scale (out of 5):

Ambiance: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Food & Drink: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Service: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white
Likeliness to Return: fork-knife-blk-whitefork-knife-blk-white

 

THE BASICS:

WHAT:  Classic American & Continental cuisine.

WHO:  The chef of Faith & Flower, Michael Hung, led by the Bombet HospitalityGroup (Terrine, Faith & Flower, Picca, Paiche, etc); in what sounds like yet another match made in Heaven.

WHERE:  Poolside at the Avalon Hotel Beverly Hills (apparently an iconic celebrity home-away-from-home back in the day (like way back), with Marilyn Monroe and I Love Lucy).

WHEN:  All meals of the day, but today we dish on dinner…

 

THE DISH: 

WHAT TO ORDER:  The Fuyu Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad ($14) was light, flavorful and distinctive with wild arugula, honey-thyme vinaigrette and sunflower seeds.  And that’s all that I tried that I would honestly recommend.  But considering I was on a date, I kept my cool and ate up like the respectful lady I am.  Now he can read how I actually felt about it (not the date, the restaurant, clearly; that’s what this blog is all about)…

 

WHAT NOT TO ORDER:  I don’t know about you, but when I order tuna tartar I’m looking for a light, refreshing start and somehow this place ended up making their version with Yellowfin ($14) heavy and greasy.  Thick pieces somehow caked together, topped with a heavy cream sauce and greasy toasted bread — not what I was going for.  However they do have 2 other tartar options (Steak and Pastrami-cured Wild Salmon) on the raw menu, so maybe you’ll have better luck with one of those.  Also, while the “chicken” half of the Roast ½ Mary’s Chicken and Dumplings ($26) was good, the “dumpling” half with young carrots, Cipollini onions and natural jus was lacking.  First off, there were about 3 bite-size dumplings and second, I wasn’t salvaging every last drop of that jus per usual (not that I would do that on a date… ok who am I kidding, I would).  And then the Creamed Spinach, Pan-Fried Croutons ($9), just pass.

THAT DÉCOR:  Space designed by Kelly Wearstler.  The look feels like summer with pops of color galore.

THAT VIBE THOUGH:  To put it as nicely as possible:  glorified motel.  Even an impressive reading menu and uniquely bold décor can’t make you feel like you’re not sitting aside a baby sized pool in the middle of a mid-century constructed motel.  We’ve seen these types of places work very well with The Ace and The Parker, but in cities like Palm Springs, it just feels more right.

WHEN TO GO: When you land after a 16 hour flight and the thought of leaving your hotel physically pains you so you crawl to the hotel restaurant and grab a quick din in-house.  Not that I can think of any reason to stay here with all the other amazing hotel options in the zone, but shit happens sometimes.

WHO YOU’LL SEE:  With it still being new, I’m interested to see what type of crowd develops here, besides the obvious foreigners who will want to stay in the center of the city at what appears to be a hip and beautiful choice.

EDDR LIFE LESSON:  A beautifully designed website does wonders.

A2  FINAL THOUGHT:  Maybe in the middle of Palm Springs, but not in the middle of Beverly Hills.  I really wanted to be a fan of this place; poolside, well-known food and design people involved, creative menu and a central location in the middle of the east and west sides; but in my opinion, it just didn’t live up to the expected hype.  I truly hate to be the barer of not-so-good news because we really do root for new openings (more good places to eat, means more happy people… but it also means we’re pointless, sooo it’s a catch-22), but that is why we are here, so you don’t go wasting your time and hard earned money where it could better be used and enjoyed elsewhere.  We finished the night at the classic and ‘never lets you down’ Sunset Tower for dessert (build-your-own-sundae, duh) and one last martini.  PS:  I can’t take credit for that last suggestion– that brilliant idea was all him.

 

The Roosevelt still has my heart,

Alex

Viviane ↔ 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., BH, CA 90212 ↔ 310-407-7791

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