Temperatures turned cold last week-- in LA terms "cold" means "the 60's"-- and while these frigid fall days cause many Southern Californians to bundle up and take shelter, Michael and I emerged from the safety of our air conditioned apartment to take long walks over to downtown Atwater Village.
To illustrate how long it's been since we visited that part of our neighborhood, we went to this brand new restaurant (at least we thought it was new) and it turned out they'd been serving the citizens of Los Angeles for at least the last 3 months. What can I say, we don't like warm weather.
That restaurant was Bon Vivant, a quaint market/cafe/restaurant with a French-inspired menu featuring impressive cuisine. I, of course, knew none of this and just thought the place looked pretty so it must be safe to eat at right?!?! Fortunately, the food is TO-DIE-FOR and, in traditional California fashion, made of fresh local ingredients. The mediocre desserts come from a shop in Culver City so I won't count them against BV. Also, they have almond milk for every manner of latte you desire!
Check out my stereotypical food pictures:
Smoked Duck Salad with cucumbers, mango, oranges, and a light vinaigrette.
Double Shot Almond Milk Caramel Latte and the Duck Egg Burger (so messy but soooo tasty)
The place has a cool barn feeling with incredible Halloween decor.
Since we moved to LA, I've wanted to try Indochine Vietnamese cafe conveniently located across the street from Bon Vivant. Atwater is a plethora of International Cuisine!
Anyway, this was my first time trying Vietnamese food and I was not only impressed with the flavors, but also the price. Another excellent find.
Left: Black Thai Iced Tea which might as well be crack as it's so good. Right: Shrimp and Chicken egg rolls.
Pho Tai - beef and rice noodle soup (it's HUGE)
Pho Bo Xao-- basically it reminded me of Pad Thai. It wasn't on their normal menu, it was a special.
Finally, we headed over to Sweets for the Soul, a tiny bakery two doors down from Bon Vivant, for their legendary iced shortbread cookies. The cookies are buttery & crumbly complimented nicely with an icing that I believe (though it hasn't been confirmed) has almond extract.
While the iced cookie is worth $3.25, in my humble opinion, the rest of the goodies don't live up to the steep price tags, especially given the portion size but also the flavor. They're just not that good.
Perhaps I'm being picky because I come from a bakery family, but I still haven't found a solid bakery in LA. What's also frustrating is they require a $10 minimum on credit card purchases, so you must have cash if you want to pop in an grab a small treat. Annoying. And the customer service isn't great..... but I will forgo all of that for those cookies-- I'm HOOKED!
My pumpkin has a mustache.
I suppose I should get back to cooking... but can you blame me for dining out with these restaurants nearby?!