The Santa Monica Life: Bikes, Trains, Dives, Tacos, Sandwiches, and More


What I Love about Santa Monica

“The Santa Monica Life” is a weekly roundup of the local fun, food, drinks, and lifestyle goings-on in Santa Monica. When the fun is so close, it’s easy to leave the car at home and walk, bike, or bus to all the exciting stuff our city has to offer. Isn’t that why we love it here?

Santa Monica gets its own Mendocino Farms; bike-share is here; the definitive list of Santa Monica dive bars; there’s a new taco joint Downtown; find out where to get a pumpkin-spice fried doughnut chicken sandwich; and Expo is ramping up testing ahead of its opening next year.

Bike-Share Launches Nov. 12

Santa Monica will launch L.A. County’s first public bike-share system on November 12 with a bike parade in front of City Hall at 8:15 a.m. The full system includes 79 stations and 500 bikes located throughout the city and in part of Venice.

More information about the system, including a map of all the hubs and how to sign up as a “Founding Member,” is available at

mendocino Farms to Open Nov. 17

According to L.A. Eater, Mendocino Farms will be opening its Santa Monica location at 631 Wilshire Blvd. in just over two weeks.

“As with other Mendocino locations, expect a market-driven menu of sandwiches, salads, and wraps like the Peruvian steak on a panini-pressed torta bun or the classic Kurobuta pork belly banh mi. Founders Mario del Pero and Ellen Chen wanted to have a design reflecting Santa Monica’s proximity to the water, hence vintage boat deck wood on the walls and a floating white rope fixture. Up front, there’s a swell beer and wine bar to people watch,” L.A. Eater reports.

Prefer Tacos to Sandwiches?

Don’t worry. Santa Monica has got you covered. Santa Monica Centric reports that Taco Libre is Downtown Santa Monica’s newest place to grab a quick — and cheap — bite. It’s located just down the street from the Santa Monica Pier at 1551 Ocean Ave.

“Located on Colorado Avenue, just steps from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier, Taco Libre features all the traditional Anglicized dishes like tacos, burritos and nachos. They even have churros for dessert,” according to Santa Monica Centric.

Fresh Mexican Food Too Healthy? Try this!

Chomp Eatery (1612 Santa Monica Blvd) is taking the pumpkin spice thing to a whole new level with its pumpkin-spiced fried chicken donut sandwich, according to LAist.

“The sandwich is $5.95, and Chomp will be serving them through October. Chomp also specializes in cold-pressed juices, an unlikely pairing,” LAist reports, so this is your last chance to try this concoction.

We need a drink

Don’t we all? Have no fear. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s website is a great place to find out more about your city. You don’t have to be a tourist to explore Santa Monica.

For example, take a look at this great list of places to drink around town, including a list of some of the best dive bars.

The list features some of our favorite places to unwind, from Chez Jay’s (the former haunt of people like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and even Henry Kissinger) and the Daily Pint, which offers one a world-class selection of Scotches.

The list goes on, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself. The best part is that the site offers tips for getting around car-free, so you can enjoy yourself without worrying about how you’re going to get home.

Did Someone say Car-Free? Expo is coming!

Next week, you’ll start seeing a lot more of the Expo train as it ramps up testing ahead of its opening next spring.

Up to now, we’ve seen test trains running on the tracks, but now it’s time to start running those trains on the schedules they will keep once they open to the public.

That means trains running on the tracks every 10-to-12 minutes. It’s just one more reminder that very, very soon, Santa Monica will be connected to the region by a passenger train for the first time in over half a century.

It’s about time, amiright?


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