The Viceroy’s poolside back patio in Santa Monica is as swank as it gets on the West Side. And we’re big fans of Whist Chef Warren Schwartz’s eclectic palate and focus on seasonal local ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. But the $8 valet fee and lengthy gourmet lunches have always kept busy business midday diners at bay.
Not any more. Whist has revamped its lunch menu and is now waiving the $8 valet fee. I was invited to a media lunch and checked out the new menu today. It’s a lot lighter, with a focus on salads and sandwiches. In fact, the first six items on the menu, everything from roasted chicken to fish tacos, can be ordered as a salad or a sandwich for $16.
It’s all very LA. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of heft for those who want to indulge. I shared a charcuterie plate with delicious duck prosciutto, Italian Bresaola, Serrano ham, and three cheeses: Gouda aged 26 months, a creamy Pont L’eveque and Cypress Grove Humboldt Fog from fresh goat milk.
Next I sipped tomato and zucchini soup with cream and basil oil. Yum. I finished with a fresh avocado and crab salad. OK, so I didn’t actually finish there. I had to try the Meyer lemon pound cake with Greek yogurt, Stoli vanilla and berries. With a group of nine, our server struggled a bit to remember who ordered what. But as Arnold would say, “I’ll be back.”
Whist, 1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica; 310-260-7500.