Santa Monica Travel & Tourism’s signature culinary program, Santa Monica Restaurant Week, is back for its seventh year starting today and running through Sunday, Jan. 13, in conjunction with California Restaurant Month. To celebrate Santa Monica’s status as a health-conscious culinary destination, nearly 30 Santa Monica restaurants will offer specially crafted dishes, all created to highlight the generous health benefits of this year’s featured ingredient: the persimmon.

The orange-colored fruit that comes in various varieties is full of health benefits and packed with vitamins A, B and C. The versatile fruit also contains key minerals and fiber, which promote heart health, reduce inflammation, support good vision and keep the digestive system healthy.

Persimmons are overflowing right now at farmers markets through January. The two varieties are the Fuyu, which is astringent and crisp like an apple and works great in salads, and the Hachiya, which is cone-shaped, soft and juicy. You can also find them dried at Arnett Farms at the Culver City and Mar Vista farmers markets.

Azulé Taqueria will be serving roasted acorn squash and pickled persimmon tacos, and there will be persimmon sorbetto at Caffé Bella, crunchy kale and persimmon salad at Massilia and roasted persimmon tartine at Upper West.

Additional participating restaurants include Bondi Harvest, the Curious Palate, Dolcenero Gelato, El Cholo Santa Monica, Élephante Beach House, Esters Wine Shop & Bar, FIG Restaurant, Funnel Cakes on the Pier, the Independence, Inotheke, Kye’s, Lunetta, Malbec Argentinean Cuisine, Meat on Ocean, Obica Santa Monica, the Penthouse, Red O, Seaside on the Pier, Stella Barra Pizzeria, STRFSH, Sushi Roku, Tiato, True Food Kitchen, the Veranda and Water Grill.

For more information on Santa Monica Restaurant Week prizes, participating restaurants and detailed menu descriptions, visit