The U.S. Geological survey says the 3.6-magnitude temblor hit at 2:17 a.m. PDT Monday and was centered about four miles west of Redondo Beach at a depth of 8 miles.
The USGS website recorded hundreds of hits from respondents saying they felt the quake — mainly people in oceanfront communities but some from central Los Angeles about 20 miles east.
A Santa Monica police spokesman says he felt a "very brief and mild jolt," but had not received any calls from the public.
Scientists say quakes of this magnitude, while often felt, are generally not strong enough to cause injury or damage.
IN PICTURES: The 1906 San Francisco earthquake