Santa Monica Pier Set to Host Boardwalk-Style Dining Event 

The reimagined boardwalk will feature food, games and entertainment on the waterfront for a complete day of nostalgic summer fun

On July 9, the Santa Monica Pier will be reimagined as a nostalgic boardwalk featuring food, games, and entertainment, right on the waterfront. The event will give locals and visitors a unique opportunity for a complete day of summer fun and what is sure to be delicious food. Among the many restaurants included are Cobi’s, from Cobi Marsh and Chef Lance Mueller; Hotville Chicken from Kim Prince; and Guelaguetza from Bricia Lopez.

LAMag spoke to these three chefs to find out how they became involved in the event and how their food represents the culture of Los Angeles. 

LAMag: Why did you want to participate in the first-ever boardwalk event on the Santa Monica Pier?

Cobi Marsh (Cobi’s): “The opportunity was, frankly, a no-brainer—the chance to bring our little shop to a grand (pier-sized!) stage alongside LA’s best-of-the-best was simply too exciting to pass up. The whole team can not wait to be a part of what will hopefully be an annual seaside fête.

Kimberly Prince (Hotville Chicken): I come from a family of firsts. The Prince’s were the first to do Nashville Hot Chicken. So, I was excited to be invited and quick to say “Heck yeah!”

Bricia Lopez (Guelaguetza): We loved the idea of having a pop-up on the westside of the city. I always kid with my westside friends that us eastside folks have to plan out an entire day road trip to get down there. We have so many fans on that side of the city, so it was the perfect opportunity to make a mark. I personally have a lot of fond memories of the pier from my high school days, so it was a bit nostalgic for me as well.

How is Los Angeles culture represented in your food? 

Marsh: I think the beauty of L.A. is its rich diversity in both culture and cuisine, as well as the colorful crossover we see from those cuisines coming together in different ways. I think Cobi’s is a good representation of that, in our own way. We draw inspiration from all over South Asia, but there’s always an LA kick, and color… lots of color.”

Prince: What’s a taquito to a Nashvillian? Well, I never had a TaQuito before coming to Los Angeles. LA.. culture is a tossed salad bowl to me. One where so many cultures and food traditions are combined to reflect what and who Los Angeles is. The TaHOTquitos we’re serving represents the black and brown community rolled in love. It works together and that’s hot.“

Lopez: Oaxaca is an intricate part of Los Angeles. The two destinations and everything they have to offer in terms of street culture, bold flavors, and working communities that built both cities are omnipresent in everything me and my family cook. 

What can Angelenos expect if they stop by your booth?  

Marsh: If you find yourself on our stretch of the boardwalk, you can expect to enjoy a refreshing, Vietnamese-inspired street snack called Banh Trang Tron, made with green papaya salad, peanuts and herbs in rice paper, cut into strips. A cold dish will be necessary on a hot LA summer day, and we are here to provide.” 

Prince: Y’all can expect Nashville Hot Chicken, of course. Crispy on the outside, moist and flavorful inside, and no bones. Our dish is called Dos TaHOTquitos. To top it all off and cater to all types of foodies, we are also bringing vegan TaQuitos with plant-based chicken, vegan cheese, and spicy dipping sauce.

Lopez: We are bringing a little bit of the Oaxacan coast. We love that people automatically associate Guelaguetza with mole, but it felt prudent to bring a little Puerto Escondido-style ceviche to the beach.

What are you most looking forward to at the event? 

Marsh: “What am I not looking forward to” is the real question. If you know me, you know I like to bask in the sun, so what’s better than a day at the beach with our COBI’S family, spectacular food from fellow L.A.-based restaurants and hanging with our friends from American Express and Resy?

Prince: I look forward to seeing folks gather on the boardwalk again and being surrounded by L.A.’s culinary giants. I also look forward to seeing the attendees take that first look at one of my dishes, and then that first bite. What comes next is what I call a “satis-fried” nod of approval.

Lopez: To hang out with my fellow chefs, enjoying Micheladas together and having a great time together. It has been quite some time since I’ve participated in a full-out food event of this magnitude, and I’m excited to share the space with my fellow food family.

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