I absolutely love finding hidden gems in the restaurant world, especially in LA where competition is extremely high and there is no shortage of great food. However, you know you’ve found a gem when you would come back again and again to the same place. Bon Vivant Market & Cafe in Atwater Village is one of those. The style is so rustic and eclectic with every style of seating available in beautiful repurposed wood – whether you want to relax on a couch or share on a community table with plenty of natural light coming from the double doors opening up the entire restaurant to the patio seating.
Bon Vivant has a little bit of everything: a full bar with homemade craft cocktails, a fromage (“cheese” in French) and charcuterie market section, desserts and pastries from local trendy vendors, coffee and tea, and a full menu for every meal of the day. The manager and cheese longer, Jason Velasquez, is the best part. He is passionate, dedicated and accommodating. He makes Bon Vivant note-worthy. Jason also REALLY knows his stuff – he personally curates a lot of the products being sold, ingredients being used and of course the cheese. He makes Bon Vivant’s cheese and charcuterie boards himself, and it is one of the best boards I have ever had. Even the parking was easy! Metered right outside, but still close and plenty during the week. Weekends and holidays can get a little hectic, but what part of LA doesn’t.My favorite time for Bon Vivant is brunch. To drink, I love the Pirate Chai Latte (basically a matcha green tea and chai tea latte mixed together) and I love that they use old school tea bags for their tea lattes (basically it means they take an empty loose leaf bag, fill it with loose leaf tea, and hang it in the cup by tying it to a stirrer). Bon Vivant’s full bar opens during brunch as well, so I suggest the Bloody Mary if you are a fan. Jason was a bartender previously and he imports the mixture they use from an organic place out of state that he trusts. Above all, the freshly squeezed orange juice was bar far the best thing to drink. It was so perfect and refreshing, and you can tell it was truly freshly squeezed to serve. To eat, the fried chicken and waffles with maple-bacon syrup were amazing. The waffles were thicker than most waffles and still crunchy on the outside. The fried chicken had a really good yet thin/light batter on the outside with some bacon bits in it. Together with their homemade butter and syrup = perfection! The mac n cheese (penne pasta was used) was rich and divine, packed with several cheeses to make it extra gooey. All together, one of the best brunches I have had in a while. To top it all off, they even do custom picnic and gift baskets that Jason creates individually with care. Just ask! Bon Vivant Market & Cafe (3155 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039) 323-284-8013