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DTC #61: Elephants in the Room Elephants come in many forms durinG This “classy” night out in Santa Monica

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Toast the sunset in the most stylish “rooftop” hang in town.

Learn a thing or two with a documentary at an intimate pint size theater.

Pop into a classic dive where celebs have been sharing drinks and cracking peanuts for years.

Chez Jay opened in 1959 playing host to many celebs, musicians and a famous elephant. They’ve been serving peanuts since day one and apparently one made it to the moon with Alan Shepard, photo evidence on the way to the bathroom.
Stop 1

Toast the sunset among perfect SM vibes

• 6pm til 7pm •

You almost miss the tiny entrance to the aptly named Elephante amongst the 2nd street post work movers, tourist shakers and your standard Birding crowds...

  • Absolutely get a reservation. When you get this request the room on the sunset side. For parties of 8+ they will not seat you in the room with the sunset because they don’t have the tables.
  • Request the South end of the sunset room. The sun beats down on the North end, you will be much happier in the “shade”.
  • Owner Nicholas Mathers is also a designer and it shows with the furniture being pieces he designed or hand picked from North Africa and Southern Italy.
  • Cocktail standouts: The Elephante (w/ mezcal or tequila) and the Oro Blanco Oaxacan.
Stop 2

Dip into a Documentery

• 7:15pm to 8:45pm •

Taking the quick U-turn into Laemmle Monica enters you into the pleasantly sized and stylishly welcome theater. Of course you stop at the concession stand to grab a bucket of popcorn and two glasses of wine...

  • As Laemmle is considered the “secret path to Oscar qualifying” the theater has many excellent rotating independent films and docs with Q&A’s afterwards. Their schedule is full of gems.
  • The concessions are a killer deal with wine and beer from $7-$10 and a bucket of popcorn running only $6.25.
  • Laemmle Theaters have an interesting history. Starting in 1938 by brothers Max and Robert they bought their first theater in Highland Park in 1938.
  • Las Sandinistas! is an award winning doc from Jenny Murray following the women who battled in Nicaragua from the early 70’s until now. In March 2019, the women are still facing jail sentences and fighting for equal rights. It's an incredible story that hasn't been told.
Stop 3

A Cocktail fit for an elephant

• 9:30pm til you call it a night •

The cool ocean air accompanies you along the walk to Chez Jay. Lost in conversation you almost step into oncoming traffic and bump into the odd drunk college kid...

  • If more than 2 people a reservation is highly recommended. The spots to be are left of the door under the famous elephant eating peanuts photo or to the right under the awning. If you have a group of 10+ you can reserve the patio outside.
  • Speaking of the elephant photo. This was a photo from the opening day 4th of July weekend in 1959. The owner hired show girls and a circus elephant. Apparently one of the show girls tried to feed the elephant a drink and it angrily dented the bar in refusal. It’s said til this day you can still see the dent.
  • The kitchen stays open til about 9:45pm before transitioning to a late night menu. The patty melt is the classic bite to eat, only available on weekends. The peanuts are always flowing.
  • Opened in 1959 this was indeed made a Santa Monica Historical Landmark in 2012. It was bought by owner Jay Fiondella for $1, thats not a joke.
  • Alternative: Don’t feel like walking? Head to Misfit a block away instead.

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