On a night when it seemed all of Los Angeles was drenched in a little bit too much sun, it was nice to take a quiet and cool table around sundown at the outdoor poolside patio of Whist at the Viceroy. The atmosphere was upscale, yet comfortable, like that grad school professor who always wore jeans.
The bread on the table is like a handshake, it’s the first encounter that tells you the kind you’re dealing with. Whist met me with the perfect handshake, house made pretzel bread that had a firm and crisp outer crust and a velvety soft center. This loaf was so light that at points I thought I could have been buttering cotton candy. OK I know that image might have left you slightly disturbed.
After a bit more bread and butter than a New Years resolute woman should have, I was happy to see the Asparagus salad coming my way. This paired down salad seemed like a good call, and it was. The asparagus looked so cozy on a fork with the gooey egg. The candied walnuts and of course the parmesan gave this salad a diverse range of tastes.
Wanting to keep things savory, I chose the Veal tenderloin. The asian pear on the meat was a bit heavy, but once my tongue got calibrated to the taste, delicious. The sautéed taragon and celery root resting next to the veal made me push through the meat to get to those wonderful flavors. The prosciutto added an extra unexpected taste to the blend of flavors.
As decadent as I’d been with dinner choices, it only made sense that I chose the most naughty dessert option on the menu; the triple chocolate bread pudding. The deep sinking spoon collecting each of the three chocolates felt righteous and guilty at the same time and magnified once it melted in my mouth. I was tempted to leave and come back in with phony Groucho Marx glasses and a blonde wig just so I could order this dessert AGAIN.
All in all, Whist impressed me with décor and a highly diverse menu that merged various ethnic influences and a bevy of local produce. I am eager to go back and try their Crispy jidori chicken.
Whist at the Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401