Some see the turning of the calendar year as an opportunity to conquer dietary and health goals. Some hope to explore local restaurants they’ve never tried before.
As far as the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau is concerned, though, those two aims are not mutually exclusive.
For the third consecutive year, the tourism board has partnered with some of the city’s most well-known culinary establishments for Eat Well Week, which continues through Jan. 11 and invites diners to try health-minded dishes that local chefs have created or highlighted specifically for the promotion.
Held during California Restaurant Month, the local effort features a record-high 18 participating eateries this year.
“Santa Monica’s innovative chefs, the accessibility to the world’s finest produce and an unwavering focus on sustainable, organic ingredients has allowed the city to emerge as an international culinary destination while maintaining an emphasis on fresh and healthy dishes,” CVB President Misti Kerns said in a news release. “We are thrilled to have more restaurants than ever before joining in our efforts to celebrate Santa Monica’s distinctive culinary and wellness offerings.”
The Lobster, which is located near the Santa Monica Pier entrance, is participating for the third year in a row. The seafood restaurant’s offering this time around is a carrot soup made with Tamai heirloom produce from the local farmers market as well as coconut milk, pumpkin seeds and Aleppo pepper – and without heavy cream.
“(Eat Well Week) benefits us because it highlights that although we’re a restaurant with rich and tasty items, right after the New Year it lets people know they can have something healthy, too,” said Lynne Thomas, The Lobster’s director of sales and marketing. “It brings in people who wouldn’t necessarily know they’re able to dine here and not feel guilty.”
Perry’s Cafe, meanwhile, is partaking in Eat Well Week for the first time this year. Its menu, which currently includes egg-white omelettes and grilled salmon with asparagus, arugula and heirloom tomatoes, has evolved to satisfy consumers’ desires for healthier options.
“We get people from all over the world, and our goal is to feed the world and represent Santa Monica in such a way where they feel the difference and that their spirits are being fed as well as their bodies,” said Robin Hathaway, executive chef for the four beachfront eateries. “With the vibration of people running, walking, skating and biking by, we’d like to make sure we’re part of that healthy lifestyle and be an example for that – not just for one week but 365 days a year.”
Other featured meals during Eat Well Week include citrus soy hamachi fish and crispy rice at Cast at Viceroy Santa Monica; coffee-rubbed skirt steak salad at Fig at Fairmont Miramar; mint mocha hot chocolate at Rawvolution; spinach and kale pizza at Stella Barra; and roasted Asian pesto salmon at Tiato Kitchen. For a complete list of participating restaurants, visit www.santamonica.com/eatwell.