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If there is one cuisine that is synonymous with California, it is Mexican food. But, one thing you usually don't hear is healthy Mexican food. That is, until you eat at Tocaya Organica. I have been passing different Tocaya Organica locations a lot lately. I see them everywhere, which makes sense as they have grown to twelve locations across Los Angeles and into San Diego and Arizona since starting in Venice in 2016. I finally ventured inside the Santa Monica location and was greeted by the welcoming signature fresh, bright, modern decor with teal and gold touches and lots of greenery on the walls and hanging from the ceiling. Tocaya Organica is a fast-casual concept serving up "modern organic Mexican" food. The menu features locally sourced produce as part of their commitment to serve natural and sustainable ingredients. All meats and fish served are fresh and 100% free of hormones, steroids and antibiotics. Using the highest quality ingredients, Tocaya Organica serves flavorful dishes rooted in traditional Mexican recipes, such as tacos and burritos. And, no matter your dietary restrictions, Tocaya Organica has something for you as many of the dishes are vegan, vegetarian and/or gluten-free.
The Gallery Food Hall on the Third Street Promenade has been reborn. What was once a mediocre food court next to the famed Criterion Theater, the two-level space is a state-of-the-art marquee food hall. No longer is this a spot you want to pass by. The Gallery Food Hall in Santa Monica is now a worthwhile destination. A clean, modern space, The Gallery Food Hall is elevating the dining scene on Third Street Promenade with a selection of unique, fast-casual restaurants and a mix of indoor and outdoor dining space.
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. 
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