What I Love about Santa Monica

“The Santa Monica Life” is a weekly roundup of the local fun, food, drinks, and lifestyle goings-on in Santa Monica. When the fun is so close, it’s easy to leave the car at home and walk, bike, or bus to all the exciting stuff our city has to offer. Isn’t that why we love it here?

Santa Monica’s “Jazz on the Lawn” returns this weekend, trains are running on the Westside for the first time in 60 years, the Novel Cafe has a new Vietnamese-inspired menu, and Santa Monica gets the world’s first bulletproof coffee shop.

Every Sunday in August, Santa Monica will offer free jazz concerts in Stewart Street Park. “Jazz on the Lawn” will kick off this Sunday from 5 to 7 p.m. at 1836 Stewart Street. No need to worry about parking; there’s free bike valet.

“Come dance, relax, and enjoy lively music in the park. Bring a picnic basket or grab something to eat from one of the food trucks,” the city’s website says.

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This Sunday’s food truck lineup features The Grilled Cheese Truck, Dogtown Dogs and Chunk-N-Chip, according to the city. And, performing will be the Nate Birkey Quintet.

“A fluid improviser and vocalist of understated grace, Birkey has an engaging way with a song. His sound is poised and assured, powerfully stark and spare – it creates an atmosphere at once solitary and electric,” the city’s website reads.

Sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

As we have mentioned once or twice on this site, passenger trains are once again rolling through Santa Monica’s streets after a 60-year hiatus. This week marked the historic moment that a train pulled into the 4th Street/Downtown Santa Monica station, which marks the western end of the Expo line, expected to open to the public the first half of next year.

Of course, trains once ruled in Los Angeles. Via L.A. Observedhere’s a video of a train running along the Santa Monica coastline in 1898.

Keep an eye out for the new trains and tweet us with your pictures.

A Santa Monica staple, the Novel Cafe at 2127 Lincoln Blvd., is undergoing a major menu change, Eater L.A. reports.

“A proliferation of Vietnamese favorites, from banh mi sandwiches to pho, with grain bowls and other bowl-ified options emerging in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, much of Novel Cafe’s menu has already been scrubbed, though a few classic options remain — along with their coffee, of course,” according to L.A. Eater.

“The restaurant redo has already hit the signage outside, as well, with The Novel Cafe logo being replaced by a Bowl House Kitchen look. Want to get in on the ground floor of the switcheroo? Turns out they’re hiring now for Bowl House positions. To apply, just drop off a resume,” the site report.

And, good news for people who prefer to take their coffee with a healthy serving of butter. Bulletproof Coffee just opened its first store on Main Street in Santa Monica.

What’s that, you ask? “If you haven’t been keeping up with your New York Times trendpieces, Bulletproof is [founder Dave] Asprey’s self-devised lifestyle and diet that claims to help you lose weight, cut down on hunger and cravings, and also increase brain function,” LAist reports. “It’s an all-encompassing regimen, but it has become mainly known for its trademarked coffee recipe, inspired by Tibetan tea, which famously uses butter.”

The health claims are dubious at best, but this place is must-try if you like butter in your coffee. Bulletproof Coffee is located at 3110 Main Street #116.