Chez Jay | Eat Steak like Frank Sinatra | Ocean Ave, Santa Monica

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

This hole in the wall with a giant clam on the roof is a restaurant and bar that is easy to pass by but not easy to forget.

From the outside, it looks like just another dive bar, but step inside and the charming decor will make you smile and feel at home right away.

This is the place to go to get reasonably priced classic seafood and a great $25 steak with a side of old-time atmosphere. Chez Jay has a lot of history, once catering to the likes of movie stars and celebrities including Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.

Dimly lit, cozy tables make Chez Jay the perfect place for a date. Happy hour is between 3:30 and 6 and includes great appetizer deals.

Chez Jay also serves breakfast on the weekends, I recommend the Eggs Benedict. Visit Chez Jay and discover a true local treasure.

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Cora’s Cafe | Breakfast or Lunch | Ocean Ave, Santa Monica

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Rating: 4.0/5 (2 votes cast)

For breakfast or lunch Cora’s cafe is a special and quaint experience. The patio feels like a secret garden. Although Cora’s is very small, the food is impressive and creative.

This is one of the most delicious and beautiful places for brunch in Santa Monica and it’s only a few blocks from the pier. I applaud them for their liberal use of cheese, especially Barratta, as well its creative use of the farmers market vegetables.

Cora’s cafe also serves specialty coffees and treats, which you can eat on-the-go.

I recommend their Kobe style steak and eggs and their home made bagels. Patrons beware of long waits on weekends and for good reason, it’s delicious!

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Harvelle’s Jazz and Blues Club | Music Venue and Bar Review | Santa Monica

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

When you get tired of all the meat-market bars, go to Harvelle’s for a relaxing, velvet ambiance and great performances every night of the week.

Live music with lots of rhythm will be sure to get your booty shaking, check their website for specific performances each night.

This fun bar attracts a diverse crowd that is there to listen to music by talented performers while drinking and dancing the night away. It’s one of the few places where 40 year olds are dancing just as hard as the 22 year olds.

On Sunday night, Toledo and his burlesque dancers will get your heart pumping with some seriously funky beats. On Thursdays you may even be lucky enough to catch someone from the hip-hop Hall of Fame.

Drinks are reasonably priced and there is usually a cover of around 5-10 dollars. It’s well worth a visit.

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Bagel Nosh cheap and delicious! | Breakfast Restaurant Review | Santa Monica

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Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

When you are in the mood for a simple, easy breakfast that won’t cost an arm and a leg try Bagel Nosh on Wilshire.

There’s a reason why this place is never empty. They have great bagels, great chicken and tuna salad and great deals!

A bagel, two eggs, sausage and hash browns for under 5 dollars is a steal!

They make their own flavored cream cheeses that are fabulous (especially the veggie cream cheese). It’s clean and full of locals. Make it one of the breakfast spots you frequent.

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The Golden Bull… for a great steak | Steakhouse Restaurant and Bar Review | Santa Monica

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Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

Not everything in Santa Monica is shiny and new. More than just a local’s spot, The Golden Bull is a steak house with plenty of character and history and good food.

In the evening, bartender Mark is always there with a smile on his face to serve up your favorite cocktail.

Try the early-bird special between 5:00 and 7:00 for a good meal at a great price. Also enjoy their outside patio brunch on Sundays.

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La Conda Portofino | Italian Restaurant Review | Montana Ave, Santa Monica

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

A hidden and elegant taste of Italy for truly fine dining, service, and ambiance. The storefront is easy to miss, but once you enter the restaurant is warm and comforting.

The gnocchi is absolutely mouth-watering delicious. Their dishes are inventive and the chef pays special attention to flavors to create an experience your taste buds will not soon forget.

Prices can run between $20-$40 per entree and its worth it! Definitely a place to go for your next special night out.

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Marix Tex-Mex, Santa Monica, at the beach!

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Rating: 4.0/5 (3 votes cast)

Just sweated up a storm playing beach volleyball? Dried out by the beach sun? Then cross the PCH, via underground tunnel, to Marix for a cold beer, specialty kick-ass Margaritas, and comfort Tex-Mex cuisine.

The Steak Fajita Tacos are amazing and a steal, this place isn’t afraid to share the guacamole either.

Atmosphere is obviously very casual. Prices are low to moderate. They do have a valet starting at 4:30PM, otherwise free parking. Happy hour, cheap bar food (try the burger!), and lots of TVs for all you sports fans.

Holla at ya boy Josh working weekday afternoons at the bar for a little southern hospitality.

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Chandni Indian Restaurant …off the beaten path | Indian Restaurant Review | Santa Monica

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Rating: 4.5/5 (4 votes cast)

Looking  for a place to eat that’s far removed from the crowds at the promenade? Try Chandni Vegetarian Indian restaurant on Wilshire.

It is delicious Indian food and is budget friendly.

The place is owned and run by a group of brothers and it is worth a visit!

I recommend the Palak Paneer and Malia Kafta. Chandi also has a cheap lunch buffet that is frequented by many locals.

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Louise’s Trattoria | Italian | Montana Ave, Santa Monica

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Rating: 2.0/5 (4 votes cast)

My friend and I dined at Louise’s Trattoria on a Thursday evening around 9PM, we had no problem getting a table.

It was a little awkward as we first walked through the door as we were pretty much hovering over a couple eating because their table was extremely close to the entrance. There was no ‘Please wait to be seated’ sign, but our server Peter greeted us fairly fast…

Peter was fantastic.  He had the calm cool demeanor of a seasoned pro.  His confidence made me feel at ease with my menu selection:  Chicken Parmigiana, modestly priced at a cool $14.95. The portion size was large. My friends got the Lasagna Bolognese and was very satisfied but not ecstatic. Careful not to fill up on the complimentary oil, vinegar, garlic dip and Herb Focaccia before your meal, it is great! The entrees overall were good, but not great.

The atmosphere was a little suburbia cookie cut out.  Service was great!  A perfect place to go if you’re looking to save a few bucks dining out, and get decent cuisine.

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Menchies | Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt | Montana Ave, Santa Monica

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Rating: 3.3/5 (4 votes cast)

Menchies is the latest delicious and fun innovation in frozen yogurt delivery. Drop in this clean, spacious, and bright location on Montana Ave and build your ultimate yogurt dessert (or lunch!).

With a large variety of unique flavors to choose from, virtually unlimited tastings and a smörgåsbord of toppings (our favorite chopped candies, dried fruits, nuts, chocolate fudge, marshmallow cream, caramel, and so forth), you can have as much or as little of everything as you’d like.

Menchies doesn’t charge by the size or topping, it’s all based on weight. You’d be amazed at the delectable creation you can devise for $2.

Posted in Fun Things to do in Santa Monica, Restaurant Reviews | 2 Comments

We Are Web 2.0! – Anyone Can Register and Contribute

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Rating: 4.5/5 (2 votes cast)

In a unique opportunity to foster community involvement, we are opening up MarketingSantaMonica.com to outside contributors. Simply register here and begin writing reviews and news editorials right away.

Please do not write about topics, businesses, or events where your neutrality may come into question or that are outside the scope of this site. Everything you submit is subject to our approval before being published. Multiple reviews for the same business/event are of course accepted provided they are from unrelated contributors.

Please review our complete terms and conditions for contributors before registering.

To begin contributing content, register now »

Posted in Advertising in Santa Monica, Community and Special Events, Dentists, Hospitals, Spas, and Yoga, Direct Mail in Santa Monica, Fun Things to do in Santa Monica, Hotel Reviews, Marketing Ideas in Santa Monica, Restaurant Reviews, Retail Business Reviews, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Clubs and Nightlife, Santa Monica E-Mail Marketing, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Rentals, Housing, and Apartments, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Street Fairs, Festivals, Art Shows and Fashion | Leave a comment

Places to Eat in Santa Monica and Fun Things to Do

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

If you are looking for places to eat or fun things to do in Santa Monica or Venice, there are six major areas that I recommend where you can be easily entertained by yourself, on a date, or with your entire family. All of these places host numerous events throughout the year from street fairs to rock concerts, so be sure to check the local calendar or this web site to make the best of your visit.

Santa Monica 3rd Street Promenade – Three blocks of upscale retail shopping and restaurants just a short walk from Santa Monica Beach. For those who like street performers, musicians, and people watching this place offers an eclectic mix of eye candy day and night.

Santa Monica Pier - Starting with one of the best seafood restaurants in Santa Monica, The Lobster or Rusty’s for Burgers, Beer and Music, an arcade for the kids in all of us, and an amusement park complete with the iconic Ferris wheel, the pier offers something for everyone.

Main Street - The hustle and bustle of a boutique retail center teaming with local patrons, a couple dozen restaurants, and a half-dozen bars, Main Street is where commerce and history meet a laid-back beach community.

Santa Monica Place – Recently renovated and reopened featuring an open-air mall and some of the finest fashion/high-end retailers you would normally find on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, the new Santa Monica Place boasts three floors of shopping and dining. The “Dining Deck” on the fourth floor features six renowned restaurants where no expense was spared in creating a stunning atmosphere complete with 360 cityscapes of Santa Monica, choose your restaurant by food or your preferred view of the city, promenade, or ocean.

Abbot Kinney, Venice – Where ultra-fashion meets Williamsburg, Brooklyn-boutique hipsters, Abbot Kinney is the West Side’s mecca for fine food, art, fashion, music and nightlife. With a score of excellent restaurants, retail shops, wine bars, music venues, and drive-up food truck vendors galore, Abbot Kinney is a must visit destination for every visitor to Los Angeles and the West Side.

Venice Beach Ocean Front Walk or “the boardwalk” - Perhaps the most well-known beachfront walk in the world. Rich with culture, grunge, alternative art, bazar-like pop-up vendors, street performers, pickup basketball courts, public weight lifting at muscle beach, international fare, and more, Venice Beach offers a two-mile strip of pure amusement; another must-visit destination for any traveler to Los Angeles.

Posted in Community and Special Events, Fun Things to do in Santa Monica, Restaurant Reviews, Retail Business Reviews, Santa Monica Clubs and Nightlife, Santa Monica Pier, Street Fairs, Festivals, Art Shows and Fashion | Leave a comment

Best Seafood Restaurant in Santa Monica – The Lobster on Santa Monica Pier

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Rating: 4.5/5 (3 votes cast)

Having sampled nearly every seafood restaurant in Santa Monica, I am happy to report that The Lobster at the top of the Santa Monica Pier is among the best overall.

With it’s absolutely stunning location, wood and glass construction, perched above the Santa Monica Pier and Santa Monica Beach, just blocks from the Santa Monica Promenade, you wouldn’t expect this place to have good food or fair prices. But that is not the case.

With a happy hour (draft beer, fine wine, and cocktails) and a sunset ocean view to die for, The Lobster is a favorite among locals and tourists alike (yes, they offer valet parking for a small fee).

The seafood entrees are exceptional with my favorite being the 1.5-2 lb American Lobster, buttery, delicious, and easy to eat. And the entree prices are reasonable ranging from $16-36+ (depending on the size lobster you want, of course).

My mother and I enjoyed a night out at The Lobster recently and we walked in and sat right down for dinner (mid-week without a reservation) and had an excellent time on our mission to enjoy the sunset, ocean view, and fine food. Mission accomplished.

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Ma’kai Santa Monica – Restaurant, Nightlife, and Club Review

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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

One of my favorite nights out in Santa Monica involves a visit to Ma’kai for dinner or late-night dancing.

With comfortable, yet modern decor and mild lighting, the atmosphere is inviting and relaxing for a meal. Executive chef Ryan Bailey has created a tasty array of your favorite classic entrees with an Asian Fusion twist. Prices are on the mid-high side with entrees ranging from $18-38, but the service and food quality is worth the price for those with discerning tastes. Don’t forget that this place is located right on Ocean Avenue offering patio seating with a view of the beach and ocean and Santa Monica Pier.

As the night turns late, a popular area DJ will stroll in to mix the latest hip-hop and dance tunes from old and new and Ma’kai quickly begins to resemble a boutique night club. A young, hip, and good looking crowd of people pour in dressed fancy and ready to mingle. Bottle service is available to those local or out-of-town crowds looking for a good time and guaranteed interaction with the opposite sex, preferably on the dance floor.

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Santa Monica Pier – A Los Angeles Landmark and Icon

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Rating: 4.3/5 (3 votes cast)

The Santa Monica Pier (featured on the top of this web site) is one of the most recognized and visited landmarks in Los Angeles. It has been broadcast to the world time and time again in dozens of movies, TV shows, music videos, and art.

The pier has been in operation since September, 1909, with attractions constructed in 1916 by Charles Looff who built Coney Island’s first carousel in Brooklyn, New York.

The Santa Monica Pier offers a slew of attractions for the casual visitor ranging from restaurants and an arcade to the world-class Pacific Park amusement park featuring the iconic Ferris wheel with its display of lights from sunset to sunrise (a ride on the Ferris wheel is only $5 per person).

Santa Monica welcomed 6.2 million visitors in 2009 and for those looking for fun things to do in Santa Monica, a night out on the pier offers a great family or date experience.

Posted in Fun Things to do in Santa Monica, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Clubs and Nightlife, Santa Monica Pier | Leave a comment

What is Marketing Santa Monica and why did we create this site?

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

A resource for the Santa Monica community, businesses, and visitors alike we created this site to share with the world everything that makes our city and Los Angeles a great place to live, work, and play.

For both in town and out of town guests looking for fun things to do in Santa Monica, our goal is to help people connect with and advertise Santa Monica businesses and attractions.

From community and special event announcements (street fairs, festivals, art shows and fashion) to restaurant and hotel reviews (from cheap eats to fine dining and wine) and smart marketing ideas and commentary for local Santa Monica businesses, we’ll cover a wide range of topics related to sharing and growing our exceptional city by the beach.

If you are a Santa Monica local business or community member and would like to make an announcement, request a review or write-up for your business, need some marketing or advertising help or advice, or even share an interesting story, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

-Chris Miller and Angela Diaz, Website Founders and Happy Residents of Santa Monica

Posted in Advertising in Santa Monica, Community and Special Events, Dentists, Hospitals, Spas, and Yoga, Direct Mail in Santa Monica, Fun Things to do in Santa Monica, Hotel Reviews, Marketing Ideas in Santa Monica, Restaurant Reviews, Retail Business Reviews, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Clubs and Nightlife, Santa Monica E-Mail Marketing, Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica Rentals, Housing, and Apartments, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Street Fairs, Festivals, Art Shows and Fashion | Leave a comment