|Photo by Elan Ruskin|
"Cheap" and "The Promenade" aren't usually in the same sentence, unless it's followed by "McDonald's." The restaurants can be on the pricey side. Fortunately, they often have some great happy hour specials.
Locanda del Lago:
Locanda del Lago is an Italian restaurant right on 3rd St. It's quite nice inside, and the food is tasty. It tastes even better during happy hour, when the food and wine has special prices. They have a vegetarian menu, (and celebrate meatless Monday), complete with vegan options. Gluten-free can be challenging, but they have great soups and salads, and a list of options. Since they serve a basket of bread with your order, my last dinner there for two (splitting the truffle pizza and a bowl of soup), was around $20. Not bad for Santa Monica Italian.
231 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tuesday: All day at bar stools
Mon-Sun: 4pm to 7pm (weekend only in the bar.)
Phone: 310 451-3525
|Photo by Caroline on Crack|
|Photo by Caroline on Crack|
Tuesday through Friday: 4pm to 7pm
104 Santa Monica Boulevard, SM, 90401
Phone: (310) 451-3525
Other Food Options:
This is a greasy-spoon diner without the grease. Although it has a lot of "traditional" American diner options (waffles, burgers, fries, etc), they also serve quinoa, tofu scramble, and homemade salad dressings. The tables are donned with organic agave sweetner, the eggs are free-range, and there are tons of veg/vegan/gluten-free options. The food is tasty and the decor is interesting, plus they are open late...until 2am Sun-Wed, and 3am Thurs-Sat. So after the bar, you can satisfy your late-night cravings for quinoa and vegan cupcakes.
802 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401-2711
Phone: (310) 393-9793
Hours: Sun-Wed: 7am-2am
Bay Cities Italian Deli:
|Photo by Muy Yum|
Complete a Mission!
|Photo by TargoPhoto|
See a show!
There are many well-known concert venues and theaters, but steep entry fees, 2-drink minimums, and Hollywood parking can add up fast. Luckily, there are many smaller venues that are often just as good, and sometimes free! There's a few near the promenade. For something different, check out the a magic show at Magicopolis. For some awesome comedy, try Westside Comedy Theater. They have improv classes for the novice, and performances for the viewer. Definitely check out certain Monday nights, when they have the improv teachers (Team X and The Faculty) do a FREE show. Laughing for free = awesome.
|Jenna Phillips TargoPhoto|
I have heard that Santa Monica has the largest concentration of yoga studios in the world (including India). And the largest concentration in Santa Monica has to be the promenade. The best part is, some are by donation! With the growing cost and popularity of yoga, donation-based yoga is a true gift. Plus, if you're new to yoga, many classes can be tried without the large initial investment. There are two locations of Brian Kest's Power Yoga, which is the "original" donation studio in SM. Bhakti Yoga Shala is also donation-based. For specific needs, there's Yo Mama studio for moms, Gentle Senior Yoga studio, and hot yoga at Hot 8. If you want to try other spots, there's also Home Simply Yoga, Yogis Anonymous, and YogaCo.
Go out and dance:
|Photo by Mick Orlosky|
Another favorite of mine is Zanzibar on 4th St. This place has a great vibe, and most people are there truly to dance (not just to troll the floor looking for girls). They have different DJ's/performers almost every night, and there always mixing in some funky surprise. I've heard a South African band complete with a Xylophone, a whole troupe of bongo drummers, and countless dance-tastic DJ's. AfroFunk Thursdays is my dancing staple, and their other changing nights rarely disappoint.