Oliverio at Avalon Hotel – Brunch Incognito
by Dawn Garcia | Photographs by Dawn Garcia
Oliverio | 9400 W Olympic Blvd | Beverly Hills, CA 90212
The Hotel is easy to pass which makes it all the more intriguing when you pull up the curved driveway, hand your keys to the valet and walk into a naturally lit entry with the flooding calm of whites and turquoises in hues of glass, smooth surfaces, and rich woods. You feel more fluid and awakened as the pieces of furniture adorning the room speak of modern simplicity by way of the subtle curves on the arm chair or the movement of the varying pieces of art strategically placed about the space. I am here because of the exceptional Publicist, ALI LENTINI | LAFORCE + STEVENS who has invited me here to dine for brunch.
Before I delve into the review, brunch is one of those meals I’m harshest on. Brunch should NEVER be predictable in my opinion. Breakfast food is breakfast food but brunch is that spectacular in-between that allows you to experience new flavors, swim in a sea of mixed dishes, and enjoy a much needed Mimosa at 11 in the morning. It’s the one meal that seems more playful and most certainly the most unique. In my opinion. So – I jumped at the opportunity to try out brunch at Chef Mirko Paderno’s, Oliverio inside the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills.
As I make my way through that small but airy lobby, I see the hostess and am led to the patio where my friend had already arrived. I walk past the figure 8 pool and to the cabana dressed in shades of blue. I scan the menu and decide that brunch feels more like lunch and I get a few different things from both the brunch and lunch menus.
I start with bubbles and just a splash of orange juice. I order the Fresh Mixed Berries because how a simple dish like berries is presented can set the tone for the entire meal. Fresh vs outdated, quality vs cost. I then order the Tonno Piccante at the urging of our server who was vastly educated on the menu and honest about every dish she’s tasted. We also order the Oliverio Burger with bacon and the San Daniele pizza with the addition of blue cheese crumbles. The meal is satisfying and unique. I would like to return to try more menu items the next time I venture in.
TONNO PICCANTE – $18
This was REALLY full of flavor. While I ordered extra siracha, the yellowfin tuna was beautiful – composed with all of the care and freshness I always long for in a tartar. It’s the detail in the crispy rice and the tone of flavor that makes this a dish I’d have over and over
MIXED BERRIES – $12
fresh farmer’s market berries
Incredibly fresh, tart, gorgeous colors – this was a bowl full of berries that I devoured with glee.
OLIVERIO BURGER – $22 (without bacon)
I’m a carnivore at heart. A good burger is something I am continually on the hunt for. Couple that with a generous cut of bacon and I’m in heaven. To “sweeten” the bite? Truffle cheese that melts on the patty with the right amount of that bitter goodness in that trace of truffle and the creaminess in the cheese. I order mine protein style and am pleasantly surprised by the presentation and true unison in every bite. A simple burger made well with the accents of truffle cheese and quality beef is precisely what the Oliverio Burger is all about.
SAN DANIELE – $18
This was a pizza that was full of flavor! Arugula, parmigiano, AND bits of blue cheese with pieces of prosciutto: WOW! The dough is that wonderful sourdough that when warm entices your sense of smell and your mouth begins to salivate in anticipation. This is a delicious pizza!
Oliverio is a restaurant I’d like to explore more. The menus are full of rustic cuisine with Italian and homemade feel. Thank you to Ali and to Chef for a very good sampling of what Oliverio is all about. I look forward to coming back, staying at the Hotel, and experiencing your happy hour and dinner menus!
Executive Chef Mirko Paderno envisioned Oliverio as an Italian eatery influenced by his love for his native country’s food. Hailing from Milan, Paderno’s new menus showcase what he calls “Italian food with a regional flair.” Utilizing meats from California, Paderno’s menus at Oliverio are a feast for the senses-highlighting everything from traditional Fritto Misto and salumi served with Homemade Olive Foccacia to sumptuous Halibut and a variety of homemade pastas, such as Fresh Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu, Butter and Sage, and Gnocchetti with Bolognese Sauce.