For those of you who've been lining up to get your pints of beer and plates of Manchester quail with chopped liver on toast at Waterloo & City, the newish British gastropub in Culver City, you now have a rec room in which to enjoy them. Or Wreck Room, as owners Brendan Collins and Carolos Tomazos have dubbed it, although I'm not quite sure who was responsible for writing the name on the door in chalk.
The room, off the bar and dining room, is ultimately slated to become a deli café and a butcher's shop, but these things take both time and money, neither of which Collins and Tomazos have much of right now. So the other day they started moving comfortable couches, a Pac-Man table, a vintage pinball machine, a dart board and -- yesterday afternoon -- a pool table into the space. Imagine a happy combination of dive bar, frat lounge and guy basement, but with actual, real, even supremely edible food.
The furniture is vintage, the walls are decorated with menus and photographs, the fireplace houses a stack of wood and a candle, the low-slung tables are stacked with magazines and, when the restaurant is open, pint glasses and items off the bar and full menu. There is no television, and Collins says he's not putting one in either. (There's a flatscreen television behind the copper bar, and for appropriate sporting events, the recent World Cup for example, the owners will set up a big projection screen.)
Collins says that the concept was an "off the cuff idea. An instant quick fix for the room." The Wreck Room has been filled up since it opened, all of two nights ago. "People just eat anywhere," said Collins. Well, assuming the food's good enough they do. As of now, the room isn't staffed with anyone other than a "cocktailer," as Collins calls the position. So you can bring your plate of blood cake with organic fried egg and toast in yourself, while you wait for a turn at the pool table.
It is entirely possible that Collins and Tomazos just wanted a cool lounge to hang out at, after work and during rare free moments, especially since they don't seem to leave their restaurant very much these days. But, hey, if you could put a pool table into your place of work, wouldn't you?
Waterloo & City: 12517 West Washington Blvd., Culver City; 310-391-4222.