Pier del Sol, the annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Southern California, took place on Sunday, October 11, 2015, at the Santa Monica Pier. In its 19th year, Pier del Sol is a fun, family friendly event that consists of a VIP brunch, with over 35 restaurants and chefs participating, and private access to Pacific Park and its games and rides for all guests.
While my wife and kids did take on a few rides, I was all about the food. Big surprise, I know! Highlights for me included the following: Fishing with Dynamite had a delicious shrimp & grits with the perfect sous vide soft-boiled egg. Providence and Connie & Ted‘s shucked fresh raw oysters and clams all afternoon! Playa Provisions and The Tripel served a tuna and shrimp ceviche, which had passion fruit in its citrus marinade that took me by surprise, but it really worked!
Highlights on the sweeter side of things: Hamasaku served a delicious sweetened panna cotta-like tofu dessert, while this year’s Honorary Chef, Alain Giraud, produced some perfect pain au chocolat from his bakery/restaurant, Maison Giraud.
This being my first time, I was pleasantly surprised by how mellow and low key the event was. The lines for the food (and the rides) were all quite short. There was no big rush to try everything, and one could make the rounds in an hour or so. Most of the restaurants were serving right up to the end. It would have been a perfect day except for the crazy heat wave, which raised temperatures into the mid-90s in Santa Monica! But everyone seemed to be having a great time, despite the heat, raising money for a great cause!
Hopefully next year the weather will be a little less harsh and the celebration a little bigger, since it will be their 20th year! For more food pics from Pier del Sol, check out hashtag #offalopierdelsol on Instagram!
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Pier del Sol
200 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401