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Santa Monica Still Tastes Great:

If the Centennial Day celebration at the Santa Monica Pier got you sufficiently geared up to sample the city’s myriad delights, you’re surely ready for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce’s Taste of Santa Monica. The 8th annual restaurant extravaganza takes place on the heels of the Pier’s 100th birthday, with plenty of food, drink, and family fun on Sunday, September 13. From lobster to linguini, there’s something for everyone at this scrumptious soiree.

The foodie fun kicks off at 1 p.m. on the Pier, with endless tasting events, cooking demonstrations, live music and prize giveaways.

Laurel Rosen, president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, said the event is a boon for participating restaurants. This year, Rosen said, the veritable feast will carry a special sheen, owing to the Pier’s centennial festivities.

“It’s the Pier’s one hundredth birthday and we are very proud to be part of the celebration,” Rosen said. “Taste of Santa Monica has always been a major community event, and it is really one of those signature gatherings that people want to be part of. It has been a tough year for restaurants and we are so glad to be able to showcase them.”

More than six dozen restaurants will participate in this year’s Taste of Santa Monica, and the food options will be as varied as the spice jars in a veteran chef’s kitchen. Indian food lovers will want to head over to the Bombay Café booth, while Italian food fans should hang around the I Cugini, Il Fornaio, or Locanda Del Lago stations. Want to try a to-die-for milk shake? Ruby’s Shake Shack will be happy to oblige. In the mood for some killer seafood? Be sure to grab samples from The Chart House, The Lobster, and Ocean Avenue Seafood. The list of palate-pleasing possibilities at Taste of Santa Monica is almost as long as the Pier, so come with a hearty appetite. If you’re a wine lover, grab a glass and head to a wine booth, where tastings will take place all day. If beer is your poison, strolling the beer garden will hardly be a tough task. For little ones, there will be discounts to Pacific Park, a kids corner, and hand-on cooking sessions with local chefs.

As if all this doesn’t amount to a perfect Sunday on the Pier, this year the Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Cirque du Soleil to bring attendees one of the most tasty offerings in recent years: a chance to win tickets to “Kooza,” an acrobatic, fun-filled Cirque show arriving at the Pier on October 16 for a six-week run. Some of the colorful “Kooza” characters will be wandering around, so don’t miss the chance to interact with one of these top-notch performers.

“We are excited to partner with Cirque du Soleil this year,” Rosen said. “The next one hundred years of the Santa Monica Pier starts with this major culinary event and this major show by Cirque du Soleil.”

Tickets to Taste of Santa Monica are $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 2-5, and free for children under 2. VIP tickets are $65, and include an early entrance time of 12:30 p.m., and unlimited food and beverage. Call 310.393.9825 x 10 or visit The main event runs from

1 p.m. – 5 p.m., with extended live music and a happy hour from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.

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