Santa Monica Pier celebrates 100th anniversary
This year marks the Santa Monica Pier's centennial -- that's 100 years of entertaining visitors with cotton candy, carnival games, ocean views and a world-famous carousel, which looks especially stunning at night. On Wednesday, the pier celebrates its 100th birthday with a day of festivities: a morning blessing at 7 a.m., a re-dedication ceremony at 6 p.m. followed by a free concert featuring surf-guitar legend Dick Dale, and a fireworks show at 8:50 p.m. Here are a few suggestions for where to watch the fireworks. And here are a few Pier-inspired deals from local restaurants.
Pre-pier menu: Chef Ray Garcia of the very grown-up FIG offers a whimsical menu inspired by nostalgia: Scotch duck egg on a stick ($7), a lobster corn dog ($7), bratwurst on a pretzel roll ($9), a 1940s-inspired sandwich made with cashew (not peanut) butter and jelly ($8) and bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers ($8). The "pre-pier menu" is available Sep. 3 - 9 for lunch and dinner. 101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica. (310) 319-3111, www.figsantamonica.com.
Clambake: Chef Dakota Weiss hosts an extravagant raw bar and clambake on the roof of this historic hotel. It comes with free champagne and cocktails, but it doesn't come cheap: $100 per person. Shangri-La Hotel, 1301 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. 7-10 p.m., Wed. (310) 394-2791, www.shangrila-hotel.com/eat/.
Longer happy hour: On Wednesday, Le Troquet, Le Merigot's terrace bar, extends its happy hour from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., with 50% off well drinks and 30% off appetizers like crab quesadillas and steak au poivre. Le Troquet at Le Merigot, 1740 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 395-9700.
Photo: The Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times