Belle Vie (Brentwood)

Partner and I went last wk. The place was PACKED (I think we went on a Thursday?). Vincent mans the bar and is very charming, expressive, and, well, cartoon-y (I mean that as a compliment). He says that his focus is on inexpensive table wines. The sauvignon blanc we had was quite simple; I actually really liked it, but partner found it to be too “light.” We also had one of the grenache-syrahs; it was fine. Both were under $10/glass.

Cedric is the chef and apepars very, VERY serious.

We had the burgundy tacos, rock cod ceviche w/ soy (and mustard?) glaze, mussels (the small portion), and pot de chocolate. All was excellent. The taco filling tasted like good homecooking, and rock cod ceviche tasted more like sashimi than it did like an ceviche I’ve had (not a bad thing), and the mussels had a pesto/wine sauce. Bread was fantastic. I knew I’d like the place when Vincent gave me an approving smile when I dived into the bread b/f I did anything else. It is not housemade (“we have a lovely baker”). Pot de chocolate was delicious (and quite small) but tasted much more of butterscotch than it did chocolate.

There’s only Vincent and one waiter for the whole place right now. Service is a bit slow, but they are clearly working VERY hard.

The place isn’t particularly bright, so my photos stink. The ones I’ve attached are the good ones (believe it or not).

The couple sitting next to us broke my heart by leaving their cheese plate untouched. Hmph. I would’ve happily eaten it for them…

I really like this place and hope it can remain at a high standard; it’s a wonderful addition to the neighborhood!

3 Likes

Asked for an address from you, found it by googling. Is it the old DiVita pizza space? I can’t figure out the space it’s in

Wilshire between Bundy and Barrington, looks like it’s near the Chinese place…?

Just east of McD’s I think

Oh, if you sent me a message, I never got it. Sorry.

Yes, it’s in the old DaVita’s space (which is indeed just east of McD’s).

Went last night. Oh boy, is the owner ever charming! I want them to succeed, it’s such a lovely place.

We just went for wine, which is an amazing deal at $4 (red) $5 (white) and $6 (rose) until 7PM. All french wines. And the owners keep you entertained, that’s for sure. We decided to try the fries, which are called “famous fries” on the menu, and I can understand why - real potatoes, thick, with melted butter and salt crystals on top.

I’m so happy to have a true French Brasserie in the neighborhood!
www.bellevierestaurant.com

Here is last night’s specials board:

6 Likes

Return trip today for lunch. Only 2 parties in there (me, a friend; a solo diner at the bar). Hope it was just an off-day for business!

Food was very good today, as well. Had the mussels again (very tasty). I was hoping the french fries would be like L’Assiette. Alas, they aren’t; they’re thick-cut steak fries. Belle Vie has a good rendition, but that’s not my preferred style, so I don’t think I’ll order them again. Cheese plate was very tasty but not exceptional (and also not cheap; but it’s not cheap anywhere, so…). Goat blue cheese was VERY good. They also had a local-sourced cow’s cheese “that doesn’t have a name.” The Brie was… brie? It (the brie specifically) tasted like stuff you can get at any market. To be fair, we can get some really good cheese easily in LA.

They had some octopus specials on the menu (which we didn’t order).

A very enjoyable lunch.

3 Likes

New set menu, some autumn changes. Of course, the chalkboard changes daily. The most charming place on the west side.

2 Likes

Grilled octopus? Calling @theoffalo!

Here’s tonight’s chalkboard menu Uploading…

3 Likes

Here’s thanksgiving

2 Likes

Partner and I went last night. Had the beef burdundy cannelloni, the poule au pot and mac and cheese.

The cannelloni and the poule au pot were outstanding. Both were quite small, in term of portion size. The cannelloni, alas, isn’t housemade, but it was perfectly cooked. The beef and sauce were wonderfully rich.

The chicken was tender, perfectly seasoned, and the broth was clean, light, but souful. It was also 24 (!). I consider myself pretty sensitive about , but I’d easily order this again. Aioli was great; I saw nothing resembling salsa verde (and can’t imagine why it’d be necessary).

The mac and cheese was a bit of a disappointment. I assume the French don’t like their food drowned in bechamel? It was technically very good but a bit sterile. I like my mac and cheese to be dripping w/ cheese, so I’ll have to look for that elsewhere.

All in all, a wonderful meal.

5 Likes

Count in my wife and I as Belle Vie fans. Both of our teen kids ditched us Saturday night, making it far easier for just two to pick a place eat last minute.

We walked in around 7:15PM - the place was packed - but Vincent promised another table would open soon and one did.

I don’t have much more to add as many of the dishes we ordered have already been mentioned.

We ordered the French fries (fried in beef tallow), the mussels, the grilled octopus, the vegetable of the day (asparagus), and the duck fillet. We chased this down with a bottle of Rosé (from Provence). It went fine with everything except maybe the duck.

We were impressed not only with the quality and freshness of the ingredients, but the skills in the kitchen are mad. Assuming it’s still the mentioned Cedric (burly big guy mastering his domain), the guy is gold.

The portion sizes were far larger than we expected. We could have easily fed a third person. The fries and mussels were very generous in portion. But the octopus included a large and smaller tentacle (the best grilled octopus we’ve had in recent memory). And the duck fillet was about the size of a NY strip - perfectly cooked to medium rare…

Belle Vie appears to have built a strong customer base. Many seemed to be on a first-name basis with Vincent. And the crowd changes from over 40 before 8PM, to under 40 after 8PM. We just happened to walk in when the demographics were changing. By the time we left - about 9:15PM - a line was beginning to form outside.

Great neighborhood place - the kind every neighborhood deserves.

7 Likes

yup
steak is really great and a bargain compared to most of the “pure” steak joints in in town

2 Likes

Yep, that’s Cedric. I absolutely love this neighborhood gem. Vincent makes you feel like part of the family, or someone he’s known since childhood.

2 Likes

Is Cedric that burly? My main impression of him is that he is very, VERY serious and focused. I don’t think I’ve ever seen his expression change.

@bulavinaka: so glad you enjoyed it! :smiley:

1 Like

Not too burly
Not too surly
Not too curly

Just a great French chef.

3 Likes

Sorry - burly as in kinda square shouldered with a masculine presence.

Nice digs, warm and gracious, great food, nice wine list. “What’s not to like?”

1 Like

I have - they’re closed on Mondays and sometimes Vincent and Cedric (and wives) hang out at Vito on Ocean Park. Cedric is a smiley guy, but not in that kitchen.

Partner spoke w/ Vincent this wk, and he thinks the restaurant may only survive for a few more wks (edit: clarified w/ partner; it’s a few more months. Sorry about that).

Whether to help support them or to have a last meals there, consider going soon. :frowning:

5 Likes

Is that because their dining volume is so much down?
They have a nice back patio and do great take out.
I would imagine with decent volume of business on both in person and take out dining they should be surviving.
Definitely want to help them!

1 Like