Santa Monica is a bit sketchy at night. If possible, I would head down to Seal Beach or Huntington. If you are restricted to the LA area Malibu is good too. I believe they are open until 10 or midnight. Seal beach is good for leopards and bat rays, while at Huntington there is a decent thresher bite right now. As for tackle, I would use nothing less than an 8’ conventional rod rated 20-50 lb mono. A reel with high line capacity and a clicker is absolutely essential. I would use 100 yards of 30-40 lb mono topshot with 65 lb braid backing underneath. As for rigs you can’t go wrong with a beefed up sliding bait rig with 100-150 lb fluoro or wire. 3-way and fishfinder rigs with wire would work well too. Fish the end and have at least a 4-6 oz weight to hold bottom and bomb out the cast as far as possible.