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Taste of Santa Monica - - Go or No Go?

I see that the annual Taste of Santa Monica is going to be held on September 14 from noon to 4 p.m. on the pier. Forty bucks for all you can eat, and an additional 15 dollars for the wine tent. Has anyone gone before and is it worth it (both money-wise and fun-wise)? Someone posted a question last year about the event, but there were no replies.

If nothing else, it is a beautiful setting to spend the afternoon on the pier, eating food and drinking wine!!

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  1. Here's the list of participants from the web site: http://www.tasteofsantamonica.com/

    Acadie Hand Crafted French Crepes
    Angelato Cafe
    Barney's Beanery
    Bon Mélange Catering
    Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
    Buddha's Belly
    Cezanne @ Le Merigot
    Chef Eric's Culinary Classroom
    Chez Jay
    Duke's Malibu
    Edible Arrangements
    El Cholo Mexican Restaurant
    Enterprise Fish Company
    Evergreen Tea House
    Fairmont Miramar Hotel
    Hooters
    Hotcakes Bakes
    i Cugini Restaurant
    Il Fornaio
    La Vecchia Cucina
    Locanda Del Lago / Caffe Bellagio
    Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel
    Louise's Trattoria
    Ma'Kai Lounge
    Mariasol
    Ocean Avenue Seafood
    The Organic Panificio
    Panera Bread
    Panini Garden
    Rusty's Surf Ranch
    SPN For Mahatma Rice
    Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica
    Stefano's New York Pizza
    Tengu - Santa Monica
    The Lobster
    The Victorian at Heritage Square
    Valentino
    Whist @ Viceroy
    The Yard
    Featured Nonprofit: The Wellness Community - WLA

    For me, I don't see too much to get excited about.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kevin h

      How many of these restaurants would you even care to try any of the food, and especially the cheapest item they can offer to still say they participated?
      This list is SO sad - adding a few good names to an otherwise dreadful list.
      Truly the best of Santa Monica would be one thing - yet this list is closer to the worst of Santa Monica, with a few exceptions of course.

    2. I'm going -- but only because I got my tickets at Goldstar for $20 ($20 for all you can eat is a pretty good deal ..)

      Although now that I see the LA BBQ festival is also that weekend, I'm wondering what I should do ...

      --burumun
      http://gourmetpigs.blogspot.com

      1. We went last year, it was awful. It is not exactly all you can eat, you have a 'passport' and have to have it 'stamped' by everyone before you can get seconds so people get stuff they don't want and toss it. We were "sneaking" seconds and shares. If you spring for the wine it is in a separate area than the food so you can't pair your favorites. The food itself is mostly dumbed down and not good. The "seating" is all standing tables with little or no shade. Very uncomfortable. Save your money or go out for a nice dinner instead.

        1. I went (or rather, got tricked into going) 2 yrs. ago.... It sucked big eggs. Never going back.

          1. I agree with the other posts - everything sort of tasted the same. The restaurants seemed to offer the easiest and least expensive dishes to prepare. There used to be a Taste of L.A. at The Santa Monica Civic. That was amazing but I think it's been gone for years. I love the concept - if anyone knows of a better "Taste" please let us know.

            3 Replies
            1. re: flowergirl

              Taste of the Nation - changes cities every year. Was in Culver City a couple months ago - quite good, I recommend it

              1. re: wasabica

                Taste of the Nation has been at Culver City for the last four years.

              2. re: flowergirl

                Food Faire at the SM Civic Center. I think it's in March. It's a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, and is more expensive, but the event is great. Most of the city's top restaurants (with the chefs actually in attendance), lots of wine. Highly recommended.