Belle Vie Food and Wine – Charming French Bistro Brings Vitality to West LA
With Fall in full swing and winter on the horizon, these cold nights signify a need to consume drink and foods that offer that “something” warm and comforting. In a city like Los Angeles, it is easy to find all different kinds of comfort food representing from countries around the world. West LA’s charming and authentic Belle Vie Food and Wine does just this, it represents a cozy taste of France, but with a Southern California twist.
Upon arrival, fellow foodie, i_havealife and I were graciously greeted by the vibrant owner of Belle Vie Food and Wine, Vincent Semarco. He kindly explained the menu and specials of the day. Because of his remarkable personality, we felt comfortable leaving the fate of our meal in Vincent’s hands.
There is no better way to start a meal than with a glass of wine. Belle Vie Food and Wine has an extensive wine menu, featuring some of the finest selections of French wines this side of the Atlantic and were presented with a couple chilled glasses of Rosé.
With wine in hand, we were ready for our first appetizer. Vincent brought out Belle Vie’s Angel Eggs. This is the perfect example of Vincent’s vision of combining French technique with So Cal flavors.
The yolk was a creamy and spiced with a pinch of Chipotle. Vincent emphasized the use of corn to represent the elote or Mexican street corn that can be found everywhere in today’s LA food landscape. This rich and savory starter is perfect to share with friends, family and colleagues.
The Mussels Mariniere with a side of crusty bread was the next dish out and it did not disappoint! Chef prepares the high quality shellfish with white wine, spring onion, garlic, black olive, cherry tomatoes, Thyme, Rosemary and basil. The mussels are very tender and lend it’s seafood essence to the herbal broth.
The Autumn Salad is enormous and simply amazing! Created with yellow endive, fresh goat cheese, grilled fuyu persimmon, fried rosemary, hazelnut, orange dressing. This salad, with many diverse textures and flavors, is a must try.
The grilled fuyu persimmons and orange dressing are slightly sweet, acidic and cut through the creamy goat cheese quite nicely. They pair perfectly with the crisp yellow endive and the result is pure success.
Vincent then brought out The Octopus, an entire fresh tentacle, cooked to perfection with shaved burnt cauliflower and it’s puree, hazelnuts and nduja.
The octopus was indeed cooked masterfully and plated with an artist’s touch. The textures are diverse once again. The hazelnuts, creamy cauliflower puree and octopus have their own unique bites, but when combined are greater than their individual value.
One can say with confidence that the taco is Southern California’s signature food. The Beef Burgundy Tacos are original, unique and familiar; a legitimately authentic French/SoCal taco.
This taco has Beef Burgundy on a corn tortilla with raw mushroom, pickled carrots and onions, crispy bacon, spring onions and a Dijon mustard spread.
Slowly cooked with attention to detail as a priority, the beef burgundy taco is the ultimate French comfort food that warms your soul.
For dessert, Chef prepared Vincent’s favorite Cedric’s BABA au RHUM, a sponge cake, RHUM syrup, whipped cream, pistachio and orange confit.
The sponge cake absorbed the RHUM syrup nicely and the whipped cream truly proved to be essential to this dish.
The entire experience at Belle Vie Food and Wine was sensational. The ambiance is reminiscent of a typical French Bistro, warm and inviting. The service and food are outstanding and we were left feeling as if we had actually understood Vincent’s vision and felt his passion for his culture. One has to experience Belle Vie Food and Wine to believe it. It might become your go to neighborhood bistro, a place where everyone will know your name.
11916 Wilshire Bl.
Los Angeles, CA 90025