The new bar The TRiP, in Santa Monica, sits at 2101 Lincoln Blvd. Unless you know it’s there, you might miss it, since the outside is fairly unassuming and most folks congregate around the corner on Grant St. Featuring music every night of the week, this venue will soon be the hot spot for Los Angeles musicians, DJ’s, artists, and singer/songwriters. Monday night is an acoustic jam, hosted by Dan O’Sullivan, Tuesdays are Karaoke, and Wednesday night is Drum n’ Bass with cartoons on the big screen onstage.

Formerly the Nocturnal Bar, where Randy Todd has played dozens of times, and prior to that the Bitter Redhead, this establishment has come a long way from the Bears’ bar it was three years ago. The new owner of the TRiP, John, has further enhanced the Nocturnal’s efforts to create ambiance and a welcoming vibe, largely by sprucing up the tables with cloth and candlelight, and overhauling the sound system.

The stage is a great place to play, with plenty of room, nice monitors, good lighting, and space for dancing in front. The crowd is typical west side eclectica, ranging from your ubiquitous Silverlake Rockster types to the Dog Town elite, but the mellow vibe inside makes it a fun place to meet folks, and the excellent wines and beers at the bar offer an alternative to the bar’s longtime featured beverage – cold sake. Even without a liquor license the TRiP manages to make some tastly drinks using the sake, and it goes down a lot smoother than hard alchohol, and makes for pleasant bar conversation.

The pool table has always been a great feature at this location, and now that it’s been recently refelted, it’s a pleasure to play on. The TRIP is one Santa Monica venue we hope will stick around for a long, long time. Stay tuned for Randy Todd shows at the TRiP, coming up in 2009!