Call it the Briny Curtain or the Salty Scent or the Ocean's Drapery, if you like, but there's no mistaking that foggy Pacific-y feel -- and fragrance -- that comes when one enters Santa Monica proper.
Whether it happens the moment you cross Lincoln Boulevard, or even 14th, is up for debate, but the fact is that the water-adjacent city has the spirit of the sea in its very air.
And, of course, upon its plates and in its bowls and on its grills. The town's briny-tinged tastes lean towards the gifts of the waves, and its seafood restaurants are, no surprise, well-known and plentiful.
Which means a party celebrating the seafooderies of Santa Monica will not be undermussel'd or underclam'd by any means. See so for yourself on Saturday, Oct. 17 when Off the Hook, a Santa Monica-focused seafood festival, docks its savory ship at Santa Monica Pier.
"The event will showcase the city's best restaurants and chefs with dishes featuring their favorite underwater ingredients such as oysters, shrimp, sushi, clams, fish, mussels, and more."
Time? It's an afternoon-into-evening affair, lest you were concerned you'd miss the spectacular sunsets that come part-and-parcel with being on the pier. Opening o'clock is 3, and the whole cuisine caboodle lifts anchor at 7 p.m.
A beneficiary? The Aquarium of the Pacific's Seafood for the Future program gets part of the proceeds (prices to nosh down range from sixty bucks to a hundred).
The eateries? The Lobster (no shocker -- the landmark lobstery is right there), The Albright (same deal; it is a pier favorite), Del Frisco's Grille, The Jolly Oyster, and several other local stalwarts'll arrive with the drawn butter and lemon slices in tow.
The reason? Well, to showcase the briny burg's briny bites. October is also National Seafood Month.
Is this Off Tha Hook? It is not the Labor Day fishing derby held on the LA River, but it is Off the Hook in terms of the plethora of choices you'll have if you're really into enjoying top-notch shrimp and oysters and such in a ocean-snug city known for its top-notch chefs.
If you're a die-hard shrimpian, though, will you stick just with your must-have crustaceans? Or will you branch out? A festival is the time to experiment, and, just maybe, find a new go-to restaurant behind the Briny Curtain.