Weekend Feasting: Where to Eat Before Fireworks, Boat Parades, More
The beach cities are full of holiday cheer and merriment this weekend. Here's where to eat, drink and play.
Pre-Parade Bites in Marina del Rey: Grab a bite and a drink at one of the waterfront restaurants for a festive night of holiday fireworks (5:55 PM) and the annual boat parade (6-8 PM) in Marina del Rey on Saturday, December 13. Cast & Plow at the the Ritz-Carlton has a great patio and seasonal market fare; hit Cafe del Rey's lounge for drinks and snacks; and Whiskey Red's features a dinner buffet and "premier seating" for parade watching, and it's the home of the official after party with free desserts and a DJ spinning after 8 PM.
Santa Monica Pub Crawl: If you like a drunken Santa and buzzed elves, then the annual SANTA Monica Pub Crawl on Saturday, December 13, is your jam. Now in its sixth year, costumed revelers run around Santa Monica's buzziest restaurants and bars for food and drink specials. Sign up online, pay a $12 entrance fee, get a wristband and pick your route (there are four). Stop at places like Wilshire Restaurant and the new Tacoteca on Wilshire; The Albright and Al Mare Ristorante on the pier; Ye Olde King's Head along the Promenade route; and Areal and Barcopa along Main Street, among many others. Here's the official map. Proceeds from wristband sales goes to the Westside Food Bank.
Fireworks Dining in Manhattan Beach: If you're heading to see the huge fireworks display over the Manhattan Beach Pier on Sunday, December 14, you'll most likely be stuck in the beach town all day (streets close at 2 PM, there's live music from 4 PM until the fireworks at 7 PM). Might as well make the best of it by hitting some of the new (Love & Salt, Little Sister) and hottest (MB Post, Fishing With Dynamite, Rock'n Fish) spots. The Strand House has a huge party (it has the best view) that includes passed appetizers, carving stations, music and more. Tickets are $100 for adults (does not include alcohol or beverages) and $50 for kids under 12.