Festival: Food, music, art and community will be part of the free event this weekend. The popular event is expected to draw a huge crowd to the area so expect some crowding around the area on Sunday. Courtesy photo

SMDP’s Weekly Guide to Food & Entertainment Goings-On In & Around Santa Monica. Your weekend starts here with the Opera on the Pier, The Other Art Fair & the Abbot Kinney Festival , food and drink highlights including Vamos Vamos listed as a top LA taco spot , and much more!

“Cars & Coffee” @ the Water Garden (FREE): The event “features a hand-selected group of Lamborghinis on display along with live music, a food truck, a custom floral station and more!” with coffee sold by Dirty Latte Co. Thursday, Sept 21, 12 – 2p.m. 1620 26th St. https://www.malibuautobahn.com/cars-coffee-water-garden-santa-monica

Pier Locals Night (FREE): Expect youth activities, a car show, local DJs and live music from local bands, art exhibits, a Mezcal Tasting, and more! Thursday, Sept. 21, 3:30-10p.m. https://www.santamonicapier.org/localsnight

The Other Art Fair: This four-day event at The Barker Hangar showcases a curated selection of over 140 independent artists. Spy art for sale while enjoying live DJ sets, activations, installations, and a cash bar. Opening night tickets (Thursday, Sept. 21) are $50-$55, and individual tix (Friday, Sept. 22 – Sunday, Sept. 24) run $25-$30. https://www.theotherartfair.com/la/

39th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day: This is an international day of action to protect our oceans, watersheds, and wildlife from trash and debris. This is “a chance for everyone in our state, no matter where they live, to help clean up trash from our environment before the rains come and wash it out to the coast and ocean. Participating is easy!” Saturday, Sept. 23, 9.a.m – 12p.m. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coastal-cleanup-day-2023-tickets-681853782017

SaMo Airport Open House (FREE): Please join us in celebrating the 99th Anniversary of the Douglas World Cruisers’ 1st Flight Around the World at the Santa Monica Airport for a day of fun, food & aviation featuring the future of mobility, showcasing our airport and the resources that are available to the community. 2895 Donald Douglas Loop https://www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-monica-airport-open-house-first-around-the-world-day-tickets-697220444117

Opera on the Pier (FREE): LA Opera’s opening night of Mozart’s Don Giovanni will be simulcast to large LED screens at the SaMo Pier. No ticket needed, but guests are encouraged to sign up in advance atLAOpera.org/OperaAtTheBeach to get important information about parking and the latest updates and to receive a free gift at the event. The opera begins at 6 p.m. but doors open at 4:00pm for pre-show activities and performances including family-friendly arts and crafts, a balloon artist, a beer garden and food vendors. Saturday, Sept 23.

Stanley Clarke & Hiromi at BroadStage: Two jazz greats are pairing up for a not-to-be-missed night of music as “four-time GRAMMY Award-winning bassist, recording artist, and composer Stanley Clarke and bursting-with-energy jazz pianist Hiromi join forces for a show that is sure to have you dancing in your seat.” Saturday, Sept. 23 at 7:30p.m. @ 1310 11th St. https://broadstage.org/tickets-shows/calendar/stanley-clarke-hiromi/

Abbot Kinney Festival (FREE): 150,000 attendees expected to indulge in food, art, music and community while strolling this iconic Venice Beach street. Expect immersive activations, artisanal vendors, a variety of food, live musical performances, art, beer gardens, kids rides and more. Sunday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m. – 6p.m. https://www.abbotkinneyfest.com/

Bridesmaids @ Street Food Cinema Will Rogers State Historic Park: LA’s largest outdoor cinema and music series is back for another season around town with this dog friendly event on the Westside that includes food trucks and live music.” Saturday, Sept. 23, 8p.m. https://www.streetfoodcinema.com/events/bridesmaids-73498

Hispanic Heritage Month Movie Screening – Half Brothers (FREE): Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a screening of this comedy about an uptight Mexican businessman forced to take a cross-country road trip with his goofy American half-sibling followed by a Q&A with the film’s writer Eduardo Cisneros. Tuesday, Sept. 26, 5 – 7 p.m. @ Pico Branch Library, 2201 Pico Blvd. https://www.santamonica.gov/events/4fa8ed6b4x2my7y7r6q2h4ydnt/202309261700

Further Afield – L.A. Loves Alex’s Lemonade Benefit: This fun and all ages afternoon features one-of-a-kind food and drink samplings. Guests can mingle with the gourmet chefs behind the dishes and taste fine dining from across the country. Come join us this year for food and fun for the whole family! Saturday, Sept. 23, 12 – 4p.m. @ UCLA Campus – Royce Quad https://www.alexslemonade.org/campaign/la-loves-alexs-lemonade

What to Eat & Drink?

LA Times Published it’s Best Italian Sub Sandwich List: This article gives Bay Cities much love by declaring “The Godmother is still the undefeated heavyweight champion of Italian subs in Los Angeles.” https://www.latimes.com/food/list/best-italian-sub-sandwiches-los-angeles-guide

LA Tacos Blog Lists Five Best Tacos In SaMo: It says “SaMo may surprise you with its wealth of Mexican menus and tempting tacos”, calling out Vamos Vamos on Main St., La Güera’s street tacos on Lincoln and “bougie tacos” at Jonah’s Kitchen on Wilshire, among others. https://lataco.com/tacos-santa-monica

Heavy Handed Short Rib Smash Burger: NBC4 featured the Main St. cult favorite with a “Learn how to make the ultimate cheeseburger” segment. 2912 Main St. https://www.nbclosangeles.com/california-live/learn-how-to-make-the-ultimate-cheeseburger-at-l-a-s-heavy-handed/3226955/

From Panama With Love: Si! Mon Brings Exquisite Seafood and Lush Vibes to Venice: This EaterLA article details how “acclaimed chef José Olmedo Carles Rojas celebrates the global flavors of Panamanian cooking” in the former James Beach space at 60 N. Venice Blvd. https://la.eater.com/2023/9/13/23870299/si-mon-restaurant-panama-central-american-venice-los-angeles

Montana Avenue Art Walk (Sept. 30); “The Fans Strike Back” Star Wars Fan Exhibition (Oct. 5); Main St. Howl-o-ween Festival (Oct. 21 & 22); Downtown SaMo Día de los Muertos Celebration (Oct. 28)

If there’s something you think is worth highlighting, you can reach out directly to me at sean@smdp.com.