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What Else is Inside the Just-Opened Santa Monica Place?

Where: 395 Santa Monica Place [map], Santa Monica, CA, United States, 90401
August 9, 2010 at 11:36 AM | by | Comments (0)

As promised, we have a whole new batch of photos from inside Santa Monica Place, the new mall that just opened at the end of Third Street Promenade, steps away from the iconic Santa Monica Pier. (C'mon, you've all seen it in "Forest Gump.")

While Third Street Promenade has provided most of the recreational and retail action for Santa Monica, it's going to have to take a backseat to this new mall. Aside from the designer brands (Louis Vuitton, Bloomies, Nordstroms, Burberry and Barneys Co-Op), Santa Monica Place is finally giving shoppers what they really want--a wide variety of food options.

The third-floor open-air Dining Deck has a mix of high-end restaurants (Sonoma Wine Garden, XINO and La Sandia) mixed in with somewhat upscale food court options like tacos, pizza, and Chinese food. Of course, you can still get a cinnamon sugar pretzel at Wetzel's Pretzels.

The mall is open-air for the most part, although the Dining Deck's food court has both inside and outside dining and the escalators are all covered. (It does rain here in SoCal sometimes.) There are plenty of spaces for events and in fact, as we were strolling around on Saturday, NIKE was putting together some sort of NFL rally event with a fashion catwalk.

Back upstairs on the dining deck, radio station DJs from KCRW will provide the music for a sunset happy hour that happens every Friday from 5 to 7pm through September. In short, we fully expect lots of events going on here. And fortunately, they won't be the odd street acts found on the Promenade.

There are still quite a few shops that need to open here as well as a few food court and dining options but they should do so by the end of August. In other words, if you've got an LA trip planned for Labor Day Weekend, you should carve out time in your busy "Entourage" inspired itinerary to check it out. We even found more affordable parking in the mall's garage. The first two hours are free!

And with the beach right by you might want to pick up a new bathing suit or shades. Or more likely, a sweatshirt. (People never realize that it does get cold in Santa Monica at night.)

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