Dinner at Waterloo & City

Oct.16, 2013

At Waterloo & City your taste buds are joyously met with fun and frivolity in every bit. So hard to describe each sensation in detail, its just that good!

Waterloo & City is named for the London underground railway line where Executive Chef/ Proprietor Brendan Collins initiated his youthful world adventures, though Collins (Los Angeles’ Melisse, Anisette and Palihouse), and his partner GM Proprietor Carolos Tomazos, (New York’s Per Se and Le Bernardin) hail from some of the world’s most respected fine dining establishments.

I always find something that is personal for me in every review, here I have a history with the building itself. It used to be The Crest House, and my brother lived for many years 2 blocks away. The Crest
house was a coffee shop, my father when he would go visit my brother, would come in from out of town and straight from the freeway he would go to the Crest House and have their great soup and then call my brother, I would very often meet my dad there. Well the only thing reminiscent of The Crest House is the building, but really that’s it.

What used to be a family owned coffee shop for 40 years got completely remodeled in 2006 by designers Thoreen & Ritter, into a modern multi-dimensional space that balances the comfort of a pub with notes of whimsy. Recycled church pews that provide seating in the lounge are brightly painted in hues of pink, brown and orange; overstuffed taupe suede banquettes are accented by lime baseboards and black, high-backed wooden chairs, adorn this new interior. A large communal table in the lounge which anchors the 30-foot long copper-topped bar; unadorned wooden tabletops add to the relaxed feel. Antique mirrors, silver platters, and vintage photos accent the walls while black zig-zag wainscoting provides added visual interest. A nice open patio provides additional space to enjoy the food and drink.

Here is what I tried:


Numb & Number – Tequila, Mezcal, Ginger, Cassis, Lemon, Peychauds. This cocktail had a nice aggressive edge to it. The Tequila and the Mezcal blended together with finese.

Paramour – Vodka, Raspberries, Lemongrass, Lemon, Prosecco. For the Vodka drinker, this one will do the trick.

The Wines That I tried:

Cuvaison, Carneros, Napa Valley, Chardonnay, rich smooth peach flavors, with a nice crisp finish. Worked great with the Kale Caesar, the Fried Octopus, and the Scallops.

Chateau Coustaut, Graves, Bordeaux Blanc, simple and wonderfully French, I drank it with the oysters.

Lockwood Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Monterey County, bright bing cherry,
strawberries and cream. This wine added so much to the Nero Capellini Pasta, Shrimp and Lobster Bolognaise.

Homefire Zinfandel, “Daydream Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma,
smooth and supple cherry notes. My favorite style wine, paired very well with the Wellington.

Here is the food that I tried:

Half Dozen East Coast Oysters, Cucumber Mignonette, Lemon. Small oysters add to this very succulent dish, what a masterpiece.

Fried Octopus, Watermelon, Green Curry, Cashews, Mint. The octopus is very large with very nice tentacles. Not as tender as it should have been, but the watermelon gave it a beautiful sweet addition, and the mint makes it more of a Thai flavored dish.

Kale Caesar, Egg Yolk, Cauliflower, Croutons, Anchovies. I would order this salad every time, very creative, using the most sought after green vegetables on the planet, great stuff.

Nero Capellini Pasta, Shrimp and Lobster Bolognaise, Basil, Tomato. Don’t let the black colored pasta fool you; it has outstanding flavor, and nice consistency.

Maine Scallops, Green Beans, Hazelnut Gazpacho, Turnips, Bacon. The scallops are plump and seared, with a unique hazelnut gazpacho, a completely new take on one of my favorite dishes.

Waterloo Wellington, Porcini Creamed Kale, Bordelaise Sauce, what a wonderful way to experience this old standard. With it’s great flaky
crust and the meat is so tender and pure, this dish is really a show

Desserts That I Tried:

Pear & Cranberry Crisp, Candied Walnuts, Brandy Ice Cream. This dessert is very fruity, with the very yummy crisp, it is a healthy combo.

Sticky Toffee Pudding, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Ice Cream. This dessert is very simple, but with great toffee flavor.

Chef Collins prides himself on tradional French Technique with seasonal California ingredients. He was trained as a butcher and believes in using the whole animal, he only will use the best ingredients, and likes to cook food that he likes to eat. Collins’ first executive chef position was at The Calls Grill in Leeds, he recieved the Michelin Bib Gourmand in 1999. Next was the Oxo Tower Restaurant, owned by the Harvey Nichols Group, then came Quo Vadis. At Quo Vadis Collins garnered One Michelin Star and earned a reputation as one of London’s rising culinary talents. He moved to Los Angeles in 2002 to serve as chef de cuisine at his acclaimed Melisse Restaurant in Santa Monica, then he received the Mobile Four Star Rating each year and was the first California dining destination to be awarded a coveted Michelin Two Star rating. Collins left Melisse to open Mesa in Orange County; after that Collins returned to Santa Monica to open Anisette with Alain Giraud, from there he became executive chef of The Hall at Palihouse.

Owner Carolos Tomazos was born in Cyprus, his Mom encouraged him to pursue the restaurant industry as a career. His training was from Vienna, Austria where he graduated from the prestigious Hotel Management School, Modul. He worked for several luxury hotels including the Imperial, the Plaza and the Vienna Hilton. Then he moved to the Greek island of Mykonos, where he opened one of the most exclusive hotels on the island, Cafo Tagoo. He also worked on some well known cruise ships; the German flagged Hanseatic, a Berlitz guide 5-star rated ship, as well as Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth II and the Cunard’s flagship cruiser The Sea Goddess II.

Collins and Tomazos, met while working together at Palihouse, they wanted to create a fun, accessible neighborhood spot where their guests can enjoy a sophisticated, highly distinct menu, and throw back a few special pints as well!

Waterloo City is very particular about their food, you get the feeling
that everything here is very thought out and completely innovative.
They are considered a traditional British gastropub; meaning, the place is relaxed, with an easy atmosphere of an English pub while serving extraordinary gastronomic cuisine.

With some tasting you get unlimited food and drink, which is great so I can give my readers a proper review of many food items. Then there’re some that are pre-fixed so you basically know what you are getting ahead of time. Every now and then you will run across one that you pretty much are left in the dark, and your host will make all of your decisions for you. Some of that good, some of that bad. The bad never being told what the specials were for that night, the good, the excellent food no matter what you are allowed to order. Not to take anything away from this great restaurant, but next time you want a reviewer to do a proper review then let them eat and drink what ever they desire.

Waterloo and City
(310) 391-4222
12517 West Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066


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