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A Labor Day Weekend Tip: Just Stay in Santa Monica

We had to use a KCRW pledge drive premium---a one night stay at the Hotel Oceana in Santa Monica---before it expired on Saturday, so we finagled ourselves a last-minute room last night. It's scorching in our neighborhood, so we welcome, nay, needed, the breezy respite. The hotel just finished a major remodel and the results are quite nice; rooms are huge, great linens, free wireless. If we had our way, we never would have left. We held court at the The Ocean Lounge, a guest-only restaurant conceived by New York City's Jonathan Morr, that recently opened. (Morr will bring his BOND ST. to the Thompson Beverly Hills hotel soon.) The restaurant offers a pretty lavish breakfast buffet in the morning with an array of Bread Bar baked goods, fruits, smoked salmon, yogurts, plus an a la carte menu. Scrambled eggs studded with ham and Emmenthaler cheese on rustic bread did us quite well. Dinner is simple (steaks, seafood, a few pastas, sandwiches), but decent. Poolside cocktails are served all day, but it's not like the Backyard at the W or the Standard hotel pools. Here, it's quiet, laid-back, not crazy at all. And there's something to be said for a Grey Goose lemonade with watermelon ice cubes...sweet, cool watermelon ice cubes...wait...why did we come home again? Maybe if the city allows it, the restaurant will open to the public, but then again, it might lose it's charm. Before leaving SM, we picked up a Godmother at Bay Cities, and the deli is already at holiday beach-weekend capacity. By 2pm, the highways were already ridiculous. Do yourself a favor: If you're at the beach, just stay there. If you're not, get a room for the weekend and stay put.
· Jonathan Morr Brings NYCs Bond ST. to Beverly Hills [~ELA~]

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