Off the Hook is a sustainable seafood smorgasbord on Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica shows off its seafood best this Saturday

The smell of the ocean as I walk down the Santa Monica Pier always makes me think of tasty seafood dishes: shrimp mac-and-cheese or lobster rolls. Lucky for us, Santa Monica is overflowing with great seafood eateries. On any given day or night, you could crunch on calamari at Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern, sip New England clam chowder at The Albright, or savor a Pacific white shrimp cocktail at 1212 Santa Monica, just to name a few options.

Thus the Santa Monica Pier is perfect place for the Off the Hook Seafood Festival, happening this Saturday. And just in time for National Seafood Month too.

The hook for this festival is a good one — some of Santa Monica’s best seafood eateries (including those mentioned above) will be serving up their specialties with some extra splash at the seaside landmark.

Oysters, baja kanpachi, ahi handrolls: It’s all being offered during the three hour-long fest, along with bites from local seafood favorites BOA, Sushi Roku, Herringbone, Red O, Blue Plate Oysterette, Enterprise Fish Co., and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

The $50 ticket includes tastings of food and spirits, and entry to a beer and wine garden. An extra $35 gets you one-hour early entry at 3 p.m. and access to the Sustainable Seafood VIP Lounge with specialty cocktails and seafood samples from FIG, Barbara Jean and Omega Blue Seafood. With your VIP ticket, you’ll also receive free entry to the aquarium under the pier.

There’s more to Off the Hook than eating: You can catch the crowd-favorite Oyster Shucking Competition, and the pier will be peppered with games as well as live music from local Venice Beach band Brightside.

The fest aims to raise awareness for the sustainable seafood movement: It’s 100% free of single-use plastics and benefits Heal the Bay, which is an all-around champion of protecting the sea life in Santa Monica Bay.

—Jessica Koslow

Off the Hook Seafood Festival happens from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday (Oct 6) at the Santa Monica Pier. Tickets are $50-plus at