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Summer may be over but that is no reason not to head to the beach. After all, the sun is still shining and it is still warm out here in Southern California. So last weekend, the first weekend of October, I headed to the Santa Monica Pier for the 4th Annual Off the Hook Seafood Festival. Kicking off National Seafood Month, Off the Hook Seafood Festival is helping raise awareness for the sustainable seafood movement as well as raising funds for Heal the Bay who is working hard to protect our Santa Monica Bay. An important cause centered around good food makes Off The Hook Seafood Festival the Please The Palate pick of the week. The seafood festival, with the mission to offer a "fun, foodie fundraising event that celebrates our beloved sea creatures, chefs, fishermen and ecosystems, and preserve our world’s oceans", took place on the Santa Monica Pier with the Ferris wheel and roller coaster in the background. 
FIG Restaurant has been serving up California Cuisine inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica for years. But some changes have taken place and now there is the NEW FIG Restaurant. Fig at Fairmont The space is still the same and the covered patio is flush with natural light. The decor now has a warmer feel to it with hanging plants adding life to the space. And there is a wood burning oven that has been added that you can see when you first walk into the restaurant. Fig at Fairmont Fig at Fairmont At the helm of the new FIG Restaurant is the personable Chef Yousef Ghalaini. A native of Lebanon, Chef Ghalaini grew up in his grandfather's bakery where he first learned the art of the wood-burning oven. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley and worked in Napa, Florida, Connecticut and New York before coming to FIG Restaurant at The Fairmont Miramar. At FIG Restaurant, Chef Ghalaini works with local farmers and fresh California ingredients to create his Mediterranean inspired menu that integrates the warm spices and legumes of Lebanese cuisine. 
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