Whist at The Viceroy in Santa Monica has reinvented itself as CAST, but Chef Tony DiSalvo is still going strong in the kitchen. The new name, CAST, draws focus to its proximity to the ocean and the seafood dishes.
Pay attention to the crostini section, and don't miss the sea urchin crostini with sea salt, lemon, and larda ($6 each). Perfectly creamy, and the light dressing of salt and lemon brings out the rich flavors even more.
Oh, if you are on Instagram, be sure to take a photo and tag @viceroySM. You will get a free glass of sparkling wine for doing so! For a glass of white wine that will go with seafood dishes, we enjoyed the 2010 Supernatural Sauvignon Blanc, Napa, California ($13).
It's not all seafood here, of course. Chef DiSalvo kept his famous Lamb Kefta meatballs because riots might break out if he ever takes it off the menu. At the moment they are served with orange, pistachio, and yogurt ($10)
We started our feast with the Diver scallops, dungeness crab risotto, snap peas, shiso vinaigrette ($18 or $33 for full size - I believe the one pictured is the half size)
New Caledonian blue prawns, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumber and melon ($17)
We moved on to the heavier dishes with Chinese spiced fried quail, lime soy chile dipping sauce ($15)
Don't miss: Potato gnocchi, asparagus, morels ($19)
The chef sent out another course of Maine lobster, corn, chanterelles, lemongrass, coconut ($23 or $42 for a full size)
Five spice roasted Kurobuta pork, cherries, farro and spring onions ($19 or $32 for a full size)
As if we weren't full enough, they brought out a whole board of scrumptious desserts.
I'm not too sure why they felt the need to change the name, but regardless, Chef Tony's food from the delicate seafood to the creamy gnocchi are still worth coming for, and Santa Monica is the appropriate backdrop for it.
Cast at Viceroy Santa Monica
1819 Ocean Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90401