The Viceroy Santa Monica’s longtime flagship restaurant, Whist, is being re-launched today under a different name, Cast. The moniker may be new—and so is the décor—but chef Tony DiSalvo remains at the helm, and it doesn’t sound like the menu is getting too dramatic a revamp.
The name is a reference to the cast-iron tools in the kitchen, as well as the “net” DiSalvo has “cast” to embrace a variety of diverse and global tastes on his menu. Sure, why not?
The re-vamped dining room now includes mosaic-paneled doors, private spaces separated by sliding walls, and a central room with communal tables and booths along the wall. As for the food, DiSalvo’s menu retains Whist’s farmers’ market focus, but does feature some new additions like a beef tartare crostini and a Chinese-spiced fried quail.
We’re not sure what prompted the change—Whist still had some caché as far as hotel eateries went. But the restaurant—which not too long ago lost Top Chef alum and chef de cuisine Chris Crary—tried a few less dramatic updates in recent years and drew little notice. Sometimes you just have to start from scratch.