Meet Santa Monica local Jim Naylor

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Santa Monica

Favorite Coffee Shop? Dogtown Coffee - In the same spot where Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions once resided, this building could be interpreted as the birthplace of skateboarding. Doesn’t resonate? Watch both Lords of Dogtown and Dogtown and the Z-boys.

Thereafter, bring your patronage to this morning breakfast spot where you’ll be delighted by your favorite variant of bean water, and secretly one of the deepest breakfast/lunch menus of any coffee shop in Santa Monica. Despite the puny kitchen, the food is spectacularly good. I'm ordering a large iced Americano, a classic burrito with bacon & egg whites, and going to get some reading done at a corner table. #NoKooks

Best Yoga/Gym? With weather this good year-round, gym memberships are mostly optional. Leg day means you’re heading to the Santa Monica stairs; go to the northernmost point of 4th Street and you’ll find the most serious gym rats in town pounding concrete stairs that aggressively drop you deep into Rustic Canyon. Shoulder day is the ocean - grab yourself a SUP, a surfboard, or just get out in the water and start swimming.

Santa Monica offers tons of beach, bike and running paths to explore as well. If you do need some class-led motivation, Basecamp on the corner of Arizona & Lincoln is a rush - it’s an interval workout where every other interval is spent on a Velodyne bicycle, and the rest of the class is theme based. Boxing, Yoga, TRX - you name it; they cover it and do so quickly. You’ll be in, out, and sore in 40 minutes.

Prettiest Spot in Town? Palisades Park - by day providing a beautiful view over the northern Santa Monica beaches, the pier, and one of the most well manicured parts of Santa Monica. By night, I swear the parking lot is full of cheating husbands sleeping in their luxury sedans who have been kicked out of their respective homes by their wives. It’s also a great spot to photograph the beautifully lit Santa Monica pier in the evenings, as it looks much prettier from afar than it does up close.

Favorite Restaurant? Plenty of great cuisine in this part of town, but may I point you in the direction of something you may not necessarily go trying to find on Yelp? Kye’s is a small casual restaurant tucked away on Montana Ave that serves up a unique and delicious take on the Asian-inspired burrito. Perfect for lunch, the Kyerito is a nori, kale, or collard green-wrapped burrito with an array of organic/vegan/paleo fillings that is amazingly packed full of flavor. It’s so unique, it’s a little difficult to describe, but one of the best food items I’ve had that is distinct to this part of town. 

Best Place to Make Out? Circle Bar. A dingy, dark little dive bar/nightclub on Main St. The place just begs of you to grab a stiff drink, lock eyes and misbehave with someone in a dark corner.

Hottest people are where? The Bungalow- it’s the scene of scenes on the Westside of LA, and with good reason. LA’s beauties come out in droves on the weeknights and mid-day on the weekends to this really beautiful social scene. Several different rooms and outside environments to explore, each with different seating environments and Hamptons-like decor, there’s a little something for everyone. Tips: don’t expect there to be any happy hour and/or specials. Also, do your homework before trying to show up on a whim on the weekends. If you’re not showing up right as it opens, aim to arrive around 7pm where there’s a lot of day-drinkers leaving. Much later than that and you’ll be in line for a very, very long time.

Coolest thing about SM? It’s hands-down the best place in LA to live. The beach is a walk away, the weather is never too hot (no need for A/C), getting to other parts of LA is relatively easy thanks in part to being so close to the 10, 405, 91, and lots of bike paths and forms of public transport. There’s simply so much to do and explore in terms of both artisanal and commercial stores and restaurants, all without touching your car. You’ll pay more in rent, but leave your car at home on the weekend and get yourself a beach cruiser for all of your transportation/shopping needs (maybe one with at least 3 gears for some of the hills).

A Perfect day in SM? Surf, Dogtown for bfast, volleyball mid-day with friends, Santa Monica Pier Summer Concert, dinner at Tar & Roses, drinks around a fire pit at Bungalow, make out session at Circle Bar.

In your opinion, if SM were a pair of pants, what would they be? They’d be a pair of straight leg AG jeans in an inoffensive hue. A perfect fit, not just in the physical sense, but also in the sense that they are ready for the Farmers Market, an afternoon meeting with your angel investors, and can then carry you into date night with style and ease.

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