Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races: Celebrating The Kentucky Derby and Raising Funds for the Surfrider Foundation

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How can you not get excited for a culinary crawl that celebrates the Kentucky Derby and raises funds for the Surfrider Foundation? I know I am!

Restaurants and hotels along Santa Monica’s premier oceanfront street come together for Ocean Avenue’s Day at the Races, a culinary walking tour to celebrate the Kentucky Derby and raise funds for the Surfrider Foundation on Saturday, May 6, from 12-5 p.m.

Come out and support by purchasing a ticket for $40 here (a portion on all ticket sales will benefit Surfrider Foundation).

This crawl will begin at Del Frisco’s Grille with their signature Ahi Tuna Tacos and a complimentary Mint Julep courtesy of American Born. Then we’ll trot along for food and drink tastings at each of the participating locations and watch the race at 3:34 p.m.

Food offerings include classic Sicilian meatballs at O+O Sicilian Kitchen & Bar. Julianne recently checked out this new-ish spot and I’m excited to try all the Sicilian goodness myself! Then we’ll race off to try Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales at Red O, Oysters Rockefeller at Herringbone, Chicken and Beef Empanadas at Shore Hotel and more. 

I can already see women dressed up with pretty floral dresses, cute sandals or pumps, and stunning hats. The men with their blazers, khaki pants, shorts, bow ties and you can’t forget the most important accessory…the fedora hat. What a fun way to celebrate Kentucky Derby Day in Santa Monica!

This is an event my son and I are looking forward to. He’s already volunteered in the past at Dockweiler for beach clean up. Surfrider Foundation is dedicated to protecting our beaches, coastline, and oceans. It will benefit us and encourage future generations to take action and get involved with beach clean up.

There will be a commemorative Surfrider Cup for first 100 guests. Also, attendees can also take photos on the red carpet, enter the Best Derby Hat contest and have the chance to win a one-night stay at Shore Hotel by choosing the winning horse and for tasting at all of the participating locations!

For those who don’t want to walk, the Santa Monica Free Ride will be giving attendees free rides up and down Ocean Avenue.

Keep an eye out at @girlsonfoodblog for stories from this fantastic event! 

Christine Beligan

I was born in the Philippines and came to live in Los Angeles with my family when I was 3 years old. I grew up mostly eating Filipino Food, Asian Cuisines, and some American comfort foods. I remember us hosting so many parties when I was kid because my Mom was a well known cook amongst our family and friends. Plus, she is from a province in the Philippines called Tarlac and they are known to be great cooks. I started learning how to cook Filipino food in my 20’s, and creating my own versions of adobo, pancit, lumpia, turon, and pineapple chicken. Then I started to create dishes in my mind and cook from there. It wasn’t until my teens that I developed a palate for Italian cuisine, which is my favorite. I began to taste any Italian restaurant that was recommended to me. In the last few years, I have developed a love of going out to dine, and trying new places. It keeps it interesting. I met fellow foodies in the last year who have helped me to develop my palate. I would have never tried Octopus on my own, but there is this one restaurant that turned me on to Grilled Spanish Octopus, Citizen Kitchen by Chef Zach Geerson. I think by attending his wine pairing dinners that I have gone to, it has helped me to enjoy wonderful flavors that I may not have thought would go together. It’s those types of dining experiences that made me hunger for more. It has created this passion inside me to be more bold and daring to accept what is not the norm. With that said I am looking forward to future encounters with Chefs that will blow my mind with their work of art and vision.

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