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7 Reasons to Hang Out in Santa Monica After Dark September 3rd, 2014

7. The 3rd Street Promenade

Considered to be one of the best shopping centers in the city, the 3rd Street Promenade has grown enormously over the past two years. Once just a two-block strip down 3rd street, the shopping center now boasts an additional plaza just south of Boardway. Parking is plentiful, though still a challenge for the uninitiated. Word to the wise: there is a small, nearly hidden parking structure on the corner of Wilshire and 4th street. From there it’s a short walk to the last remaining Barnes and Nobles bookstore and the marvelous, glass ceiling Apple Store. Happy shopping!

3rd Street Promenade Santa Monica

6. Krispy Kreme

Since it’s establishment in 1937, Krispy Kreme has become a household name across the United States. Krispy Kreme got it’s start in historic Old Salem in North Carolina. The distinct smell wafted into the streets drawing people who asked if they could by donuts off the assembly line. In 2012, the donut giant opened it’s 500th store in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Photo of Krispy Kreme Donuts

5. Buca Di Beppo

If you’re in the mood for hearty Italian-American food, look no further! Nestled in the heart of downtown Santa Monica, Buca is a crowd pleasing favorite. Plastered wall to wall with Hollywood posters and celebrity paraphernalia, there is always something to keep diners entertained as they wait for food to arrive. Go family style for around $5 a plate and experiment with an endless array of savory choices. My top choice is the Eggplant Parmigiana. End with a Chocolate Chip Cannoli – a sweet twist on an Italian classic.

Photo of Buca Di Beppo Los Angeles

4. Harvelle’s

Featuring a dynamic emerging musicians such as Orlando Napier, Harvelle’s is a little know epicenter of creativity. If indie jazz/blues music isn’t your thing, come by for a drink. Check out “Cevin’s Deadly Sin,” a series of specialty martinis ranging from the tame “Pride Martini” (vodka, cranberry, pineapple and peach schnapps) or the more sumptuous “Gluttony Martini” (vodka, godiva, baileys, kaluha and butter schnapps). Steps away from the Promenade, Harvelle’s is the perfect spot to begin or end your night in Santa Monica.

Harvelles Los Angeles

3. The Room

It is not easy to find the front door to The Room but if you decide to swing by on a Friday or Saturday night, you won’t be able to miss the festive crowd waiting to get in. Once inside, The Room features a long oval shaped bar. Although there is no official dance floor, partiers dance wherever they can. House DJs Wyatt Case and Jolyon Bates fuse hip-hop beats, heart thumping throwbacks and an occasional Michael Jackson tune.  Be prepared to dance, mingle and rub elbows with LA’s finest young, hip night lifers.

Photo of the Room Los Angeles

2. Father’s Office

Feeling peckish? With a selection of 36 craft brews and the much celebrated “Office Burger,” Father’s Office is a guaranteed win. After class take the Wilshire 720 bus to Santa Monica, grab a table at Father’s Office (they won’t serve you food unless you get one!) and prepare to stay a while. From the Belgian Allagash White to the endless stream of young professionals, Father’s Office is a great place to pass a mellow Saturday night or Sunday afternoon.

Father's Office Los Angeles

1. Zanzibar

Zanzibar is the closest you’ll get to Jamaica without having to leave the United States. Every Thursday is Reggae night and entrance is free before 10pm. After 10pm there’s a $5 cover. Even if you have to wait until later in the night, the cover is modest given the upbeat vibe and fun loving crowd at Zanzibar. There’s no rush at this nightclub – people come for the music. Hit the dance floor, saddle up to the bar or take a seat on one of the many plush couches and chairs. Sit back, relax and let the bass beats guide you along an unforgettable musical adventure.

Zanzibar Los Angeles