Santa Monica was the Setting for Curb Your Enthusiasm

The Santa Monica Pier is California’s most famous. Photo by Harrison Shiels

The Santa Monica Pier is California’s most famous. Photo by Harrison Shiels

Larry David finished his long-running, award winning, HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” but the comic actor’s physical footprint will be long-lasting in Santa Monica, California, where many of the show’s scenes were filmed.

Lauren Salisbury, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s senior director of communications, confirmed that during a patio lunch at the trendy, farm-to-table Papille Gustative, “curbside,” pardon the pun, along the shops of quaint Main Street. (The organic restaurant’s name translates to “taste buds.”)

“Larry David has his production offices here in Santa Monica and so he is often out experiencing restaurants. He is a big fan of walking so you can see him going on walks during his lunch breaks. You never know when you might see him,” said Salisbury. “I live very close to his office. I was recently riding my bike and while I was stopped at a light, he came out of his office building, got into his car, and drove past me.”

I asked Salisbury if David paid her the courtesy of one of the “stop and chat’s” he is famous for describing on his show.

“He did not. And because I am a local, I was courteous of his privacy…but it was fun,” she demurred. “There are resources online that list the filming locations of ‘Larry David’s Santa Monica.’ I recommend visiting for comprehensive information about Los Angeles’s beach city.”

I told Salisbury I had seen the filming of “Curb” episodes at the house in neighboring Brentwood which represents the home of the “Jeff and Suzie” characters on the show; and watched a scene with David shot at the Cheese Shop and in The Farm restaurant on Beverly Drive one rainy day in Beverly Hills.

“Los Angeles is a county with 88 different cities, including Santa Monica, where we have eight neighborhoods across our 8.3 square miles,” she explained. “Santa Monica is 16 miles down ‘the 10’ freeway from downtown Los Angeles, and we have a bike trail and beach path that goes all the way down the coast of Los Angeles into Venice and beyond.”

That popular path passes right under the iconic, colorful Santa Monica Pier.

The pier is our historic gem. It is over 100 years old and has an amusement park – Pacific Park – with 12 rides with great thrills and views of the ocean,” Salisbury said. “Santa Monica is the proud home of the end of Route 66. While the actual end is at Olympic and Lincoln Boulevard, the Route 66 Association recently recognized a sign on the pier where you can take a photo at the commemorative end to Route 66. If you then stop at the Santa Monica Visitors Center on the pier, they will even give you a certificate.”

The pier features restaurants, snacks, souvenirs, strolling preachers and performers, as does Santa Monica’s nearby, more gentrified, 3rdStreet Promenade. I noticed the pier and its surrounds have more of an authentic carnival atmosphere.

“Santa Monica has a unique history with circus performers. In the 1920’s, in the off-season, circus performers would come here to spend the winter months. They organically started to do their acrobatic acts next to the pier at a place called ‘the Original Muscle Beach.’ Over the years it has become a spot where active people do performative yoga, workouts, and other feats for the audiences,” Salisbury explained.

I also enjoyed spying the surfers’ feats from the pier and the beach.

“I think if you saw me in the water, you would not describe me as a ‘surfer,’ but I love getting out there,” Salisbury laughed. “Santa Monica has a gentle year-round break, so it is one of the best places in Southern California for beginning surfers. There are many fabulous surf schools within the city that will do private lessons to help you get up on the board.”

When I told her I once ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, Salisbury insisted getting up on a surfboard should be an attainable challenge for me.

I was glad to not be trying surfing after our healthy, gourmet lunch, at Papille Gustative, because I took a walk alone on Main Street, where I encountered the outdoor craft beer garden called Heavy Handed. Their short-rib burgers on house-made, buttered buns and crispy beef tallow fries that originated in a food truck have a reputation for being LA’s best – in a town that worships “In-N-Out.”

The diversity of Santa Monica – between Malibu and Venice Beach – is a savory sweet spot.

Contact Michael Patrick Shiels at  His new book: Travel Tattler – Not So Torrid Tales, may be purchased via

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