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BEACH GOURMET: The Galley: Back in 1934…

The year when Mao began his long march of over 6,000 miles, Albert Einstein described his mass-energy theorem, Bonnie and Clyde were killed by Federal agents, the Queen Mary was launched and a very bad man in Germany obtained absolute power and rejected the Treaty of Versailles. It was also the year when a movie directed by Frank Capra swept the Academy Awards. That movie was a romantic comedy called It Happened One Night.

Another notable event that happened one day in Santa Monica in 1934 was the opening of an illustrious maritime-themed restaurant, on Main Street, appropriately named The Galley. This past Sunday lunchtime Captain Ron (the owner) and his crew of jovial staff entertained all comers with their annual shindig celebrating the event with a quartet of lunch dishes gloriously priced at 1934 rates (away with inflation, I say!).

There can possibly be no more fitting a venue for a walk down memory lane than The Galley. With its old world charm, rustic ambience, porthole windows and historical memorabilia adorning the walls and ceiling, a trip back to the 30s was a befitting way to mark the anniversary. The atmosphere was further enhanced by the addition of many of the staff members sporting period costume, and Captain Ron dressing in an authentic seafaring ensemble of striped navy and white middy shirt and naval cap.

I attended the event with three colleagues and a wonderful time was had by all. The dishes offered at “time travel prices” were The Galley Burger with fries (30 cents), Kosher Hotdog with fries (25 cents), Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich (33 cents) and Pasta Primavera (35 cents). We each made our selections and enjoyed a variety of drinks as we waited for delivery.

Needless to say, with these prices and the popular choices from the regular menu also available, the place was busy and bustling, with The Galley’s South Seas Bar being a preferred spot for regulars and locals alike to imbibe and chew the cud as they waited for a table or a booth in the restaurant, or a place in the sun-drenched patio out back.

It took a little while (understandably) for Jessica, our smiling server, to arrive with the plates, which she dutifully placed in front of us and then refilled our drinks before gaily going on her way to attend to the many other ravenous bargain-hunters present.

The dishes were filling and fun, with my chicken sandwich and fries hitting the spot with a moist breast of nicely grilled bird, in a bun with lettuce and tomato accompanied by some good, large and robust steak fries.

My colleagues enjoyed their dishes also, with particular praise being heaped upon the burger, a full half-pounder and described as “excellent.”

The pasta dish was spaghetti with a myriad of seasonal vegetables in a tomato sauce and appeared to have a pleasing effect upon the most seasoned of my fellow diners, an interesting character of regular understatement.

Yes, our visit to 1934 at The Galley was a resounding success, and I really must find time to travel there once again and sample some of the delights from their regular “inflation adjusted” bill of fare.

The Galley, 2442 Main Street, 310.452.1934.

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