OFF THE HOOK Seafood Festival splashes onto the Santa Monica Pier in celebration of National Seafood Month on Saturday Oct. 1, from 3-7 p.m. This annual, community fundraising event showcases the city’s best restaurants and chefs with dishes featuring their favorite underwater ingredients. Attendees will enjoy food and drink tastings, beer gardens, live music, games, an oyster shucking competition, product sampling and more. Santa Monica Seafood is sponsoring this year’s Sustainable Seafood VIP Lounge, which includes tastings from select restaurants, as well as cocktails and preferred seating. OFF THE HOOK benefits the Westside Food Bank and raises awareness for the sustainable seafood movement through a partnership with Seafood for the Future.

Westside Food Bank’s mission is to distribute as much food as possible to local agencies with food assistance programs and to reduce food waste on the Westside of Los Angeles County. As the food bank warehouse for the Westside since 1981, it annually distributes nearly four million pounds of food to the food assistance programs of 65 Westside social service agencies. It does not distribute food directly to individuals, only to agencies.

Chef Eric Greenspan of Maré, Chef Yousef Ghalaini of FIG and Greg Daniels of Ashland Hill will be featured in the Sustainable Seafood VIP Lounge.

Ghalaini will host the 2016 Oyster Shucking Competition sponsored by Santa Monica Seafood and The Albright, where local chefs and “shuckers” will compete on presentation, time and overall ability. OFF THE HOOK will also feature live music from local bands Brightside and Black Crystal Wolf Kids, as well as an interactive photo booth, games and other fun, ocean-inspired activities.

Participating restaurants include: 1212 Santa Monica, Ashland Hill, BOA, Bubba Gump, FIG, Del Frisco’s Grille, Herringbone, O+O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar, Maré, Red O, Salt & Straw, Spinfish Poke, Sushi Roku, The Lobster, The Albright, Yamashiro Hollywood and more.

Tickets are $60 in advance for General Admission, which includes tastings, Shock Top beer garden, drinks and access to the main stage with live music. VIP tickets are $90 in advance and include access to the Santa Monica Seafood Sustainable VIP Lounge with reserved seating, curated cocktails from Infused Spirits, Shock Top beer, Piper-Heidsieck champagne and specialty seafood dishes from Maré, Ashland Hill, Red O and FIG.

OFF THE HOOK is proudly sponsored by Shock Top, Spin PR Group, Santa Monica Seafood, Piper-Heidsieck, Bulletproof Coffee, La Croix, Fresh Wata, Infuse Spirits, Boxed Water, Aloe Gloe, White Claw, Owl’s Brew, Cheeky, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Buy Local Santa Monica, Santa Monica Daily Press, LA Weekly, Yelp and Locale Magazine.

A portion of proceeds will benefit Westside Food Bank to help feed those in need throughout the Westside of Los Angeles. Tickets are available now at

— Kim Koury