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Southern California Spots

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I am not a huge fan of SoCal (what can I say, I live in NoCal!) but there are definite hidden gems. I go there often for work, so this is a collection of places to check out.
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California, USA
Late afternoon in Joshua Tree National Park.
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998 Monterey St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401, USA
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We reserved a quiet tucked-away table for 2 at Koberl at Blue for New Years - an early seating because, well, we're parents and all that. We like to ring in the New Year in bed. (watching movies on the laptop, of course) I couldn't resist a great...
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9 W Victoria St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
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From the hands of executive chef Greg Murphy of Bouchon, comes this (see above). Tucked away on West Victoria Street in downtown Santa Barbara, Murphy and his crew are doing some wonderful things in the world of food. Local ingredients are staples...
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395 Santa Monica Place #300, Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA
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A shopping mall is probably the last place you’d look for a quality brunch, but Sonoma Wine Garden in the Santa Monica Place mall may be the best boozy brunch in Los Angeles. With ocean views and cozy cushioned seating, you are transported from...
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2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, USA
dummy
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3524 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505, USA
This candy store in Burbank has everything reminiscent of my childhood summers. Dip sticks, pop rocks, candy cigarettes, cream soda, strawberry crush, baseball cards. It's literally a candy coated flashback. On the way out with my huge bag of...
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905 Country Club Rd, Ojai, CA 93023, USA
There’s a comfortable stillness to the acres of Ojai Valley Inn and Spa that’s apparent even when a cacophony of voices fills the air. Sunlight shines brightly against the resort’s white façade, which gleams in unison from...
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Inland Ave, Modesto, CA 95357, USA
Google as much as you want but you won't find an address for this secret desert diorama in the middle of nowhere Joshua Tree, CA. You will, however, get directions e-mailed to you, but only if you book! Walking into the grounds you enter a...
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1 Green Pleasure Pier, Avalon, CA 90704, USA
For the time it takes most Angelenos to commute to work, you can be ferried into the alternate reality of Catalina Island, a romantic escape far from the daily traffic jams and urban sprawl. The evergreen-shrubbed hills spotted with an artists...
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4017 W Riverside Dr, Burbank, CA 91505, USA
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Right in the thick of studio row in Burbank is Gindi Thai which serves really great Thai food and inventive sushi. It is bright and cheery with lots of light, which is perfect for watching studio executives make or break people's careers as they...
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3100 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292, USA
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I have no doubt there are countless delicious brunch places in Southern California, but 26 Beach was absolutely sinful. The mimosas were smooth and plentiful, the bacon perfectly crisp, and the black forest ham Monte Cristo was this sandwich...
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1 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA
I thought I made a pretty good grilled cheese. Then I went to the Shutters Hotel. Their restaurant, Coast is perfectly named as it’s ideally situated beneath the hotel, along the California coast. Since I only went for lunch, ordering tomato soup,...