Category Archives: Promenade / Downtown

Halloween Party at Wokano Santa Monica

Outdoor Patio at Wokano Santa Monica

Private Halloween Party at Wokano
Friday, October 28, 2011
9pm – 2am
1413 5th St. Santa Monica
Visit Site | Buy Tickets

Join Three Day Rule, Every Other Week (EOW) and Lets Do for the Westside’s premier private Halloween party this Friday at Wokano. Party on the gorgeous outdoor courtyard patio and dance floor, wear your favorite costume, and drink, dance, and celebrate! Tickets start at $15.

What’s Included
Best outdoor venue in Santa Monica
Live DJ all night
Complimentary appetizers from 9-10:30pm
450 person capacity
Raffle ticket

Bottle service is available. Call Wokano for details: (310) 458-3080

$5 for All The Pumpkins You Can Carry

Photo Credit: Mike M.

All You Can Carry Pumpkin Patch
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
8:30am – 11:30am
Santa Monica Farmer’s Market

Just in time for Halloween – join the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market next Wednesday at the intersection of Arizona & 2nd Street for the All You Can Carry Pumpkin patch!

For a mere $5 you can wade into the huge market pumpkin patch and walk away with as many pumpkins as you can carry down a 25-foot runway. Balance them on your head, in your arms or dangle them from your teeth (at your own risk). Who has more fun – onlookers or participants – it’s hard to tell, but everyone is sure to have a wonderful time at the patch, which features the most beautiful, round, bright orange, California grown pumpkins you can find. Costumes welcome!

Now Open: Tender Greens

Since opening their first Culver City location in 2006, the popular chef-driven, Tender Greens has steadily been gaining a mini cult following among health-conscious foodies. From the start, mastermind chefs Erik Oberholtzer, David Dressler and Matt Lyman had a goal of filling a void that was missing in Los Angeles – creating a healthy, farm-driven, and affordable, fine dining experience in a relaxed, eco-friendly space. This newly opened location is a perfect extension of their ever-growing mission.

Known for their market friendly, locally acquired produce, they also feature humanely raised, hormone free meats and sustainably caught seafood. This new location will encompass everything that the Tender Greens model is known for: sustainability, fresh and healthy farm-to-fork dishes at reasonable price (there’s nothing over $11).

Location, location, location. The long-awaited, Santa Monica Tender Greens is perfectly situated just off the Promenade. It’s nestled on the corner of Arizona Ave and 2nd Street. I got to chat with the very nice and incredibly passionate, Executive Chef Rian Brandenburg about what makes this location special. First off, this venue along with the Pasadena Tender Greens, are the first to go completely bottle-less, meaning all drinks are available on tap. From sparkling water to house made agua frescas, lemonades and ice teas, all are made fresh daily. They also feature various keg beer and wine. As for their site, along with acquiring their greens fresh daily from Scarborough Farms (as with every Tender Greens), they also have the advantage of securing the best local produce directly from the source. This restaurant is positioned just 2 blocks from the Santa Monica farmer’s market. Can’t get more local than this!

Chef Brandenburg is a San Diego native and has an extensive background in the California fish market scene.  He explained to me that while the core menu always stays the same, each of the seven Tender Greens locations offers unique dishes inspired by their respective executive chefs. For example, at this particular site, Brandenburg introduces his three dishes, which are appropriately inspired by their “beachy” environment. The Grilled Octopus and Thai Shrimp Salad are expertly sea-minded, while The Salad in the Raw features fresh produce direct from the Santa Monica Farmers Market.

Grilled Octopus Salad

Okay, I’m not going to lie; octopus is probably the most odd-looking creature you may ever eat. However, the Grilled Octopus Salad was incredibly tender, slightly salty, crispy and grilled to perfection. It was darn good. If you’ve never tried octopus before, I implore you to try this salad. It will blow your mind. Likewise, the Salad in the Raw was so delicate and delicious too; it’s a nice reminder of just how scrumptious fresh veggies can taste when left alone to do their thang. My favorite dish of the day was actually the Thai Shrimp Salad. Along with the tender and juicy shrimp mixed together with little gem lettuce, Thai basil, green papaya, hints of citrus, coriander and a chili lime vinaigrette, every ingredient lent a subtle touch that was so refreshingly delightful.

Fans of the classic Tender Greens menu, as always can still order their popular “big salads,” “hot stuff from the grill,” “comfort soups,” sandwiches and “simple salads” as well.

Everything about the Santa Monica location is very eco-friendly. The custom-made art shows the journey of their produce from the farm to your plate. The décor is bright with large windows, airy, clean and inviting. The designers utilized the original exposed brick (from the previous Lighthouse Buffet tenants) and everything from the tables, counter tops, floors and chairs were built from the broken down and rehashed wood material from the very building they inhabit among other recycled sources. The bamboo is 100% recyclable and the roof is made from compressed hay. They provide triple-filtered recycled water and their cups and bags are biodegradable. “It’s where the world is headed,” says Chef Brandenburg, he explained how it’s important for Tender Greens to “do what’s right for our earth” they don’t flaunt their eco-ways they’re just passionate about what they do.

“I really like dealing directly with farmers and being able to source locally,” says Brandenburg. “I can walk over to the farmer’s market and show the farmers, look, this is your tomato and this is what I did with it.” Here, they really want to “drive the message home” explains Brandenburg. It’s really about “accountability and responsibility.”

Check out the new Santa Monica, Tender Greens location and taste the difference for yourself. It doesn’t get any more natural than this.

View More Pictures

Tender Greens
(310) 587-2777
201 Arizona Avenue Santa Monica CA, 90401

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About the author
Amy T. Shuster is an actress, writer, singer and food enthusiast. Her blog is,, which focuses on creating positive content to help generate awareness of local independent foodie “gems” in the Los Angeles area. Amy lives and dines in Los Angeles, CA.

All pictures taken by Buy Local Market photographer, Da Xu.

Coming Soon to Santa Monica – August 2011 Edition

Coming Soon to Santa Monica – August 2011 Edition

Get a sneak peek at some of the new restaurants, shops, hotels and events coming to town in the next 30 days. And for all the latest, you can also subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

New Restaurants

Photo Credit: Flowizm

California Shabu Shabu | 930 Broadway Santa Monica | Menu | Visit Website
CSS brings shabu-shabu, the Japanese take on Chinese hot-pot to Santa Monica. With shabu-shabu, you are the chef. You oversee a pot of boiling water in the center of the table, submerging a variety of thinly sliced beef, noodles, vegetables and spices at your own pace.

California Shabu Shabu expects to open its doors mid-September.

Photo Credit: Laurel F.

Greens Up! Salads | 3101 Main St. Santa Monica | Menu (PDF) | Visit Website
Less than a year after Chef Robert Yamarone first brought the ‘healthy, crisp, alternative food’ Greens Up! Salads serves to Montana Ave., Greens Up! is coming to Main Street.

Greens Up! allows you to create your own salad or choose from their chef selections. The produce is locally grown, farmed in an environmentally conscious way and much of it is organic and gluten-free.

Look for Greens Up! Salads on Main St. and Marine soon.

Next Door by Josie | 2420 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica | Visit Website
Josie Le Balch of Josie’s Restaurant is opening a new casual farm-to-table eatery next to the original Josie’s restaurant (featured @ 4:52 above) called, Next Door by Josie. Clever.

The restaurant is expected to open August 26th.

**[Update 9/14/11] The restaurant is now open. See our full review and pictures here.

Tender Greens | 201 Arizona Ave. Santa Monica | Menu | Visit Website
Tender Greens is set to open their 7th location in Santa Monica this August. Known and loved for their commitment to their locally sourced, fresh ingredients, Tender Greens is a natural fit for Santa Monica.

**[Update 9/14/11] The restaurant is now open. Subscribe or check back for our review.

New Shops

giggle Better Basics Happy Hippo

Giggle | 1120 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | Visit Site
Giggle’s newest store opening in early September is your one-stop source for a smarter nursery. Their collection of innovative, functional and health conscious baby products includes baby items from fun, bright bedding and furniture to gear, toys, baby care, cleaning products, and more.

New Hotels

Photo Credit: Downtown Santa Monica

Shore Hotel | 1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica | (800) 599-1515 | Visit Site
Shore Hotel is Santa Monica’s new green, independently owned, luxurious beachfront hotel scheduled to open October 1st. Shore Hotel is the first and only newly constructed Silver LEED registered hotel in Santa Monica. Inspired by the convergence of Southern California’s spectacular natural landscape with a unique urban fabric, Shore Hotel is the destination of choice among oceanfront hotels.

Upcoming Events

Photo Credit: E. Kelly

The Good Food Festival | Sept. 14-18 | Various Locations around Santa Monica | Visit Site
The Santa Monica Farmers Market celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the inaugural Southern California Good Food Festival & Conference. This unprecedented 5 day event will focus on regional and national issues integral to building a local and sustainable food system while supporting the needs of California family farmers.

See Our Guide to the Good Food Festival

TEDxYouth@SantaMonica: Define Yourself | Sept. 24 | Visit Site
TEDxYouth@SantaMonica is partnering with Santa Monica High School to create a TED experience for 500 local youth centered around the theme of defining yourself. Together, they are assembling an exciting and inspiring program of live speakers and TEDTalks for a memorable day of fun, insight and revelation.

The conversations will cover such diverse topics as soccer, porn and graffiti, but will always be guaranteed to make you think a little differently about how you define yourself, and are defined by others.

Learn More, Register and Find Tickets

Check back for full reviews and photo slide shows for each of these events or subscribe to get them sent straight to your Inbox.

Free Movies at Santa Monica Place are Back!

Photo Credit: Yumi K.

Movies on the Deck are back!

Every Wednesday beginning September 7 – October 26
7pm – 9pm
Free and Open to the Public
Location: Santa Monica Place Dining Deck
Visit Site | See Pictures

Enjoy classic films under the stars Wednesdays at 7pm on the Dining Deck, Level 3 of Santa Monica Place. The movies are complimentary and shown in their original, unedited format. It is recommended that you bring warm clothes and a blanket.


Wednesday Sept. 7  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (NR), starring Audrey Hepburn

Wednesday Sept.14 Goldfinger (PG-13), starring Sean Connery as James Bond

Wednesday Sept. 21 American Graffiti (PG), starring Richard Dreyfuss

Wednesday Sept. 28 Viva Las Vegas (NR), starring Elvis Presley

Wednesday Oct. 5 North by Northwest (NR), directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Wednesday Oct. 12 Moonstruck (PG), starring Cher

Wednesday Oct. 19 The Blind Side (PG-13), starring Sandra Bullock

Wednesday Oct. 26 Silence of the Lambs (R), starring Anthony Hopkins

Keep an eye out for giveaways during the screenings and maybe even some surprise special guests.

Santa Monica Place 395 Santa Monica Place Santa Monica, CA 90401

SunSets at Santa Monica Place, Presented by KCRW

Jason Bentley at SunSets 2010 Photo Credit: Jeremiah Garcia/KCRW 89.9 FM

SunSets at Santa Monica Place, Presented by KCRW

Sunday August 7th-31st (Check Exact Dates Below)
5:00pm – 7:00pm
Dining Deck of Santa Monica Place
Free and Open to the Public
Visit Site

Relax with a drink and enjoy the view while KCRW’s DJs treat you to an evening of music

The 2011 SunSets series kicks off this Sunday, August 7th with a set from DJ Aaron Byrd to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of Santa Monica Place and continues every Wednesday evening in August!

Spend Wednesday evenings in August on the Santa Monica Place rooftop dining deck with some of your favorite DJs from KCRW 89.9 FM.  Enjoy breathtaking ocean views, drinks, food and a happy hour soundtrack provided by KCRW’s own DJs – all as the sun sets over the Pacific.

Find KCRW on your radio dial at 89.9 fm and online all the time at

KCRW DJ’s performing:

Sunday, August 7 – DJ Aaron Byrd

Wednesday, August 10 – DJ Chuck P

Wednesday, August 17 – DJ Eric J. Lawrence

Wednesday, August 24 – DJ Dan Wilcox

Wednesday, August 31 – DJ Anne Litt

More Info

Santa Monica Place
395 Santa Monica Place Santa Monica, CA 90401

The Taste of Santa Monica Place

Fresh Sashimi of the Day from Ozumo

The Taste of Santa Monica Place
Celebrate the 1 year Anniversary of Santa Monica Place
Date: August 5th – August 14th
Time: 12:00pm – 10:00pm
Venue: Santa Monica Place
Visit Site

10 Lunch options at $20 or $30 Dinners. Try one or try them all.

Get a taste of all Santa Monica Place has to offer by experiencing special pre-fixe menus at participating restaurants. The pre-fixe menus will offer the restaurants’ finest offerings at affordable prices. Pre-fixe menus include a $20 per person 3-course lunch option and $30 per person 3-course dinner option.

“We are excited to launch the first Taste of Santa Monica Place event so that locals, day trippers and tourists alike can experience the great dining options we have to offer. From pizza and pasta to crispy calamari and beef tenderloin, there really is something for everyone to enjoy,” said Adrienne DeVore the Senior Manager of Marketing at Santa Monica Place.

Restaurants participating are: La Sandia, Zengo, Ozumo, Sonoma Wine Garden, Xino, Pizza Antica, True Food Kitchen, Primi Al Mercato and The Curious Palate.

See Menu Options

Tacos from La Sandia

As part of Santa Monica Place’s 1 year anniversary,  they will have a weekend full of

  • sales promotions
  • live entertainment
  • children’s entertainment
  • fun for the entire family
  • and more!

Three hours of free valet parking is available if dining at one of the restaurants, complete with three separate valet locations on Broadway, 4th Street, and 2nd Street.

And Remember – Your Santa Monica Place Gift Card…

Benefits Santa Monica Public Schools via the Education Foundation!

One dollar of the purchase fee from each Santa Monica Place Gift Card and GIVE Green Gift Card purchased at Santa Monica Place will be donated to the Santa Monica – Malibu Education Foundation to support educational excellence for every child in the Santa Monica – Malibu School District.

More Info

Santa Monica Place
395 Santa Monica Place Santa Monica, CA 90401

Margarita Dinner at The Border Grill

Top Chef Masters Susan Feniger of The Border Grill

Margarita Dinner at The Border Grill
Date: Thursday, August 4th
Time: 7:00pm
Venue: The Border Grill, Downtown Santa Monica
Visit Site

$45 per person – Border Grill VIP Club Members*
$55 per person – General Admission

*all Santa Monica locals receive the discounted price. Make your reservations today! (310) 451-1655

Join Top Chef Masters Susan Feniger and celebrate the fresh and vibrant flavors of summer with an exclusive 5-course dinner, featuring all of our favorite organic, local, and seasonal ingredients. With a menu created by Border Grill Santa Monica Executive Chef Alex Moreno, the dinner will also showcase specialty cocktails handcrafted with GreenBar Collective’s artisan, organic spirits.

Specialty Cocktails

Cucumber Mint Gin and Tonic
tru organic gin • cucumber mint ice cubes

Grilled Oja Santa Shrimp
farmers market tomato mint tea

Ginger Lemon Drop
tru organic vodka • meyer lemon • ginger syrup

Abalone and California Avocado Ceviche
lime cured • heirloom cherry tomatoes • persian cucumbers

Spiced Grapefruit Fizz
crusoe organic spiced rum • homemade grapefruit soda

Squash Blossom Relleno
preserved lemon • crema • homemade requesón cheese

Curried Margarita
ixa organic silver tequila • hand muddled lime • curry neem leaves • agave

Seeded Lamb Chop
grilled heirloom tomato • grilled romano beans • spiced corn pinwheels

LAMILL Mini Café de Olla
spiced mexican latte • lamill dark roast espresso • cinnamon
orange zest • allspice • clove • piloncillo sugar

Farmers Market Fruit Crisp
homemade seasonal fruit crisp • custom blended ice cream

More fun at The Border Grill…

Cook with Executive Chef Alex Moreno!

On Saturday, August 20th from 7pm-9pm, Chef Alex Moreno of Border Grill Santa Monica will be demonstrating an easy-to-cook, Farmer’s-Market-focused dinner sure to please. The evening will include tastings of the items demonstrated, Border Margaritas and tons of fun! Price per couple is $90 (includes tax) and is limited to 12 couples!

Now Available! Get Yours Here

Border Grill Santa Monica
(310) 451-1655
1445 4th St. Santa Monica, CA 90401

Now Open: The Misfit Restaurant and Bar

I have been waiting to write this one. The Misfit opened right off the Promenade in late April, but right away I knew it would take some time before I could encapsulate what and who The Misfit is. I had heard a lot of good things but wanted to give The Misfit a chance to settle in before I headed there to experience it for myself.

Cheekily named, The Misfit is anything but. It’s moody, dimly-lit, dramatic and fun and has already found a home in Downtown Santa Monica. From the moment you walk in you feel at ease. The raised ceilings make the space feel open while the staff and décor create a very welcoming atmosphere.

The menu, directed by Chef Bruce Kalman is both satisfying and health-conscious; the Misfit accommodates your carnivore friends as well as the vegans amongst you with a variety of small plates, making it easy to share. If you prefer to drink your meals, The Misfit also delivers – and with style. Home to a gorgeous, almost theatrical bar with its curtains and dark wood, The Misfit offers a slew of signature cocktails, as well as an excellent beer and wine list.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening at The Misfit. Too often a theme is forced as a place tries to find its identity before it has grown into its own. The Misfit is not that at all. There is an unmistakable confidence that is present throughout, the type that is rarely found in a new establishment. The Misfit knows who it is. If you have yet to stop by, we recommend you spend an evening there and get to know it for yourself.

View Slideshow of All Photos

Early Feedback

“Service was excellent and the chairs were really comfy. Very vegetarian friendly… gluten free options, too.” – Erica L. (Yelp)

“Amazing tapas style food that rocked my vegetarian world and my boyfriend’s carnivorous one, great drinks and free salted, chocolate chip cookies to top it all off… I tried the mac & cheese, stuffed peppers, and the chick pea/kale wraps, and all were to die for. I think I just found my new favorite restaurant.” -Rachel R. (Yelp)

M-Th 12:00pm-12:00am
Fri-Sat 12:00pm-1:00am
Sun 12:00pm-12:00am

The Misfit Restaurant + Bar
(310) 656-9800
225 Santa Monica Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Looking for more fun things nearby? Check out what else is going on in Downtown.

Health and Fitness Festival

Santa Monica Chamber Health & Fitness Festival

Saturday, July 30th
Third Street Promenade
Free to the Public
View the site

“Lifestyle Fitness – the pulse of our community”

The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce welcomes summer the healthy way at the annual Santa Monica Chamber Health & Fitness Festival. This year is specifically geared towards Lifestyle Fitness – the pulse of our community.

Special performance by P90x fitness guru Tony Horton
Learn to dance with Jeffrey McCann from ‘So You Think You Can Dance

Free vital screenings, including:

  • Skin cancer
  • Blood pressure
  • Podiatry
  • Vein

Free classes, including:

  • Hula hoops
  • Boxing
  • Zumba
  • Karate
  • Yoga

For a complete schedule of classes and performances, click here

Several of the exhibitors have created specials offers through Buy Local Market:

House Call Doctor
Take $100 OFF of initial House Call Doctor visit fee for a concierge mobile clinic House Call Doctor visit at your home, office, or hotel 24/7.

Get Deal

Nu Skin/Pharmanex
Want to know how healthy you are?
Get a BioScan Reading of Your Antioxidant Level and See if Your Supplements are Working. Come to the Nu Skin booth at the Santa Monica Health and Fitness Festival this Saturday 7/30/11 on the Promenade from 11-4.

Unique Stuff
You get 1 neck/shoulder heat pack and 2 handwarmer heat packs for 47% off. Completely reusable. Great for any type of muscle soreness, aches, pain relief.

Get Deal

Be one of the first 100 attendees to stop by the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce table and receive a good bag filled with products and coupons from our exhibitors.

Looking for more summer events in Downtown Santa Monica? Check out what else is going on.