The Real Housewife of Santa Monica
Shaka Shack

Archive of ‘Local’ category

Shaka Shack

This cute little burger place opened up in Sunset Park last year.

It’s diagonally across from Bob’s Market.

One day Maddie and I rode over there on my bike after school so she could get a bite.

We sat at a surfboard and M played with the vintage Mr. Potato Head.

We love the polynesian decor and shellacked surfboard tables!


You order here at the counter.

Ask this young lady about the specials.

Oh wow!

It just occurred to me that you might be wondering what kind of burgers/food are served? Great question! It’s a Polynesian themed burger shack.

Check out the menu!

I tried the Hana slaw which was delicious!

M had a plain grass-fed burger with ketchup & pickles only. She will always eschew toppings in favor of letting the ingredients stand on their own. (I.e. she’s increasingly picky.)

She loved it!

Besides burgers, they have Portabella mushroom, veggie (rice, black bean & corn), salmon, chicken & turkey burgers. I am mostly vegetarian these days and will definitely try the veggie burger next time.

The friendliness of the women who run Shaka Shack makes you want to stay there all day. This is what I love about small neighborhood businesses and what separates them from chain restaurants.

Also, they have these:

Definitely check Shaka Shack out next time you’re in the area! You can also run across the street to check out Baby Daze Boutique. Lookit what I just found there last week?

Shaka Shack
1701 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

M 11:30a-6p
T-Sa 11:30a-8p

Letting go

of a balloon, that is, is a sad event in the life of a kid. But besides getting clocked in the head by a swing every child needs to experience this cruel (not to mention eco-unfriendly) rite of passage.

Lookit how happy she was before she let go?

Yesterday M told me she wanted a haircut and that she wanted it cut to look like her Aunt Charlotte’s and/or cousin Lydia’s. Since Lydia and Charlotte have totally different (both very stylish) cuts, we met in the middle. It was hard to believe that a little girl would WANT a haircut but Maddie has her own style and a strong sense of fashion so I wasn’t about to stand in her way.

We set out for the salon.

BEFORE (with a side pony)

This salon is so adorable. Let me interrupt myself to apologize for boring most of you with this post about my daughter’s first haircut. Nobody hates hearing about cliche parent experiences like this more than I do but gosh dang it, for some reason these little kids make even common everyday experiences fun!

Anyway, The Yellow Balloon has been in SM for ages.

I actually saw the salon from the car, pulled over & called. They told me to come right in! It was so totally friendly inside, well, actually kid-friendly inside.

Our stylist, Denise, was so sweet. She let M sit on my lap which I doubt made it easy.

M really enjoyed looking at herself. And the cookies they gave her. And the Cinderella flashlight. The tattoo & the lollipop. Oh, and she also enjoyed the haircut.

She took a quick ride in the car (which the owner insisted on paying for).

And we left!

She accidentally let go of the balloon later in the park and wept bitterly as we watched it shrink to a tiny dot. I understood how she felt as I watched them cut her baby hair off and sweep it away into a dustpan.

The Yellow Balloon
1328 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90403

M 9:30AM-6PM
T, W & F: 9:30AM-7PM
TH: 9:30AM-8PM
SU: 10AM-5:30PM

Eco Coastal Cleaners – Local shout out!

When I had a job I used to take my clothes to the dry cleaners once in a while. One day this eco friendly place popped up in the Sunset Park area of Santa Monica. Now they’re MOBILE!!

The owners are local people – they live a few blocks from us and we’ve known them for years. You just call them up, once they have your payment info. it’s all automatic. Last week I left a few sweaters in a bag on my back gate & they picked them up. I just stuck a note inside saying when I’d need them and BOOM they were back on my gate on the required day!

No more toting your stuff over to the dry cleaners. Love using local businesses and when they are eco-friendly it’s even better!

Free Home or Office Pickup & Delivery

Non Toxic chemical free process
Eco Friendly Dry Cleaning Since 2000
Reusable “ECO” Garment Bags
Reduce Reuse Recycling program
Home/Office Pick Up and Delivery
UGG Boot Cleaning

Z Garden

**UPDATE: Z Garden does indeed have high chairs!**

This place opened up a year or so ago across Pico from Virginia Park. When I saw the sign, “Healthy Mediterranean Food” I thought, “Yeah, RIGHT!” b/c that building had housed cheap & UNhealthy Mexican food before that. Some buildings seem to doom whichever restaurants inhabit them.

G took the girls there last July when I was out of town. He claimed it good. I thought, “Yeah RIGHT!” since G doesn’t have taste buds.

Finally I tried it out last week after a Clover Park day with my friend and her kids. SO good! I forgot to take pix so I went back again last weekend.

G ordered extra pita & humus.

Extra humus & pita

I got the falafel pita sandwich.

Hey, that was MY salad!!

G & the girls shared the salmon entree.

Doesn’t that look yummy?

Click HERE for the menu if you’re interested.

There is indoor & outdoor seating. I don’t think they have high chairs but maybe they’d get them if you asked?? The owner is super friendly!

Z Garden
2350 Pico Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Spitfire Grill & Topanga State Park

I am writing in my pjs, a hoody & some Smartwool socks. But only a few weeks ago it was hot here. Like really hot. We decided to take a hike in Topanga Canyon. Packed up the kids, the water bottles, sunscreen, Chariot, snacks, dog, leash and ourselves, got in the car & drove up to the trail. We learned the hard way to bring some form of jogging stroller for tired little people so that we don’t end up carrying anyone. By the time we got there it was even hotter.

I am too hot to remove this hat.

Who decided to put Bea in black yoga pants?

(Btw: I just realized when adding the link to the park that the dogs are NOT allowed on the trail. D’OH! If you are looking for a dog-friendly hike where dogs can be off leash – try Westridge. It’s a fun hike but there is NO shade!)

As we started the ascent, the front wheel fell off of the stroller. The pin that holds it in was stripped so there was no quick fix. From there we pushed it on 2 wheels. The only one having fun was the dog and with a black coat, even he was burning up.

After about 20 minutes with the broken wheel we gave up. Between the tantrums, the heat & the wheel we admitted our defeat & headed back to the car.

On the way home we decided to stop over at Spitfire Grill for lunch. It’s a little spot by the Santa Monica Airport that happens to be across the street from a nice dog park & playground.

I had eaten lunch there a few lifetimes ago when I worked at SimEx in the Santa Monica Business Park. The meal wasn’t memorable. But we weren’t going there for the food.

When we got there we sat on the patio. There were other dogs out there, lazing in the shade. Bea was asleep so we put her back in the front wheel-less Chariot and ordered a couple of $3 mimosas.

Not my typical post-hike beverage but since we didn’t really hike, what the hay?

The kid’s menu is pretty standard:

Maddie is the only kid I know who prefers a salad to fries. Or adult for that matter.

So relaxing with Bea asleep.

Agghh!! Bea woke up.

Post-nap daze

As you can see from the menu, the vegetarian options are few but perfectly fine. I got “The Glider” (“Roasted red peppers, baby spinach, avocado, tomato & daichon sprouts on a grilled herb focaccia with pesto and melted jack cheese”) Tasty!

G actually got a hot pile of ribs. It was like 90 degrees out and there he was tearing hot meat off bones. [No photo, luckily.]

We took a look at the Happy Hour menu.

I don’t find the appetizers compelling. The well drinks are good deals. Anyway, I’m not doing a Happy Hour recommendation on this post as I wasn’t there for it!

In a nutshell: here’s one way to handle Spitfire Grill: eat there during the day on the patio. Perfectly kid-friendly lunch/early dinner spot. Take your dog and you can run over to the dog park to play before or after. If you don’t have a dog, take your kids to the park across the street to burn off some steam. If you don’t have kids or a dog, you’re SMART!

Feel free to share any comments about the Happy Hour or any other park of the SM Airport campus.

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