Wordcake Weekender: Santa Monica

santamonicablueplateoystersI love all my Wordcake Weekender children, but being born and bred on the California coast, I have to admit that this one holds a special place in my beach-loving heart.

Every time I read it, I want to hop a quick flight, check into the Palihouse (one of the five Best Places to Lay Your Faces recommended in the guide), put on shorts, board a beach cruiser, and head to Blueplate Oysterette for oysters on ice, mini lobster rolls, and a bottle of white Bordeaux. Sigh.

The Santa Monica life is a lovely one—having endless access to so much sand, sun and fun makes for a glossy, golden, and on-the-go populace.

‘Round these parts, omelettes come with egg whites as the default, the farmers market mingles with one of Southern California’s most popular outdoor malls, life pauses for a few moments at sunset while everyone watches Mother Nature’s show, and yoga pants are perfectly acceptable all-day attire (until dark, when they’re replaced by 4-inch stilettos and bandage dresses…or, you know, a cute sundress and sandals).

My meticulously researched Weekender guide gives you step-by-step instructions for exploring the local landscape, fork first.

santamonicapalihousebreakfastYou’ll start each day as you see fit—with a luscious latte from one of Los Angeles’ top roasters, or perhaps a green juice or fresh fruit smoothie (when in Rome…).

Since you know I’m all about sniffing out a city’s best pastries immediately upon arrival, I give you the details on the best and only the best bakeriesand one of the area’s most legendary 24/7 doughnut shops.

Fill your afternoons with beach cruiser rides along The Strand, do a little indie shopping on hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard (hopefully paired with brunch and some of the best monkey bread you will ever ever eat), mix epic burgers and boutiquing at one of the most famous—and blissfully unpretentious—LA retailers, and take a meditative stroll around an oasis-like Sunset Boulevard meditation retreat or the unspeakably grand Getty Villa.


Perhaps you’ve always wanted to take a beach yoga class—I’ve given you two awesome options for combining sea and Savasana. Follow it with a cuppa oolong at an unassuming little teahouse that Forbes called “magic.”

Happy hour? Yes, yes, yes! All five of my best destinations for a nightcap double as happening happy hour destinations.

santamonicatacococktailAnd taco lovers, I’ve got something special for you—a five-stop Tour de Tacos that takes you on a delicious wild boar and barbacoa chase from one end of the city to the other.

Come dusk, when you live on the edge of the Pacific, sunset-watching is a sport, and whether you want secret, swanky, and/or see-and-be-seen sunset-watching and cocktail-sipping hotspots, I’ve got you covered.


From 10-course tasting menus to $10 pizza picnics along the Palisades, glammy cocktail bars to beloved neighborhood dives, best celebrity-spotting brunches to midnight Santa Monica Pier Ferris wheel rides…if you follow this guide, you’ll leave no Santa Monica delight undone.

Either download the guide to your iPhone and/or iPad’s iBooks app so it’s with you whenever you need it, or print it in full color onto real, tangible paper, if you’re into that sort of thing. Plot your perfect getaway itinerary by filling in the bubbles for the spots that look like they’re just your type, then just follow along.

So buy the guide here, and go forth and stuff, Santa Monica-style!

Note to my loyal Table Scraps readers–to show my appreciation for your willingness to read my written meanderings each week (or so), I would love to give you this guide for free, just email me at jen@underthetablewithjen.com with the subject “I wish I was in Santa Monica RIGHT NOW.” Just kidding, you can write whatever you want. But seriously, after writing this, I wish I was in Santa Monica RIGHT NOW.