Best hidden gems in Southern California

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We've featured hundreds of awesome restaurants and incredible experiences over the years, so here are just a few of our favorite things ever. Food, fun and more - from bakeries to safaris.

Eye on L.A. has featured hundreds of awesome restaurants and incredible experiences over the years, so here are just a few of our favorite things ever. Food, fun and more - from bakeries to safaris.

Humanity, History and a Good Meal
That's what the owner wants to deliver every day at The Old Place, where time is "wound backwards" a bit. Located in the unincorporated community of Cornell in the Santa Monica Mountains, the former country store and post office was turned into a charming restaurant in 1970, and was a hideaway for Hollywood stars Steve McQueen, Ali McGraw, and Jimmy Durante. The restaurant is filled with delicious aromas because they cook meat over an open fire, and that's one thing that makes it one of our favorite places! http://www.oldplacecornell.com/

Authentic Italian Food
For a bit of Northern Italian cuisine, check out Officine Brera, located in the Arts District of downtown L.A. Inspired by Cucina Povera, or peasant style cooking typical of the countryside along the River Po'Valley in Northern Italy, Officine Brera combines contemporary cooking techniques with Italian traditions. A great spot for a romantic dinner, Brera also offers two private dining rooms and outdoor dining. Of course, nothing pairs better with Italian food than good wine, and you can enjoy the best that Italy has to offer from their extensive wine list. http://officinebrera.com/
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Downtown L.A.'s Officine Brera is one of the best local spots for authentic Italian cuisine!

Vintage Comfort Food
Idle Hour is a vintage-inspired establishment in a building built in the 1940s, where comfort food is the foundation of their menu. They offer everything from Mac 'n' Cheese to their famous Sloppy Joe. But it's the building (that's a giant barrel) that draws the most nostalgia. It started out as a cafe in 1941, then in the '70s it became a flamenco bar called La Cana, and then it fell into disrepair. It's been fully restored and now new generations are loving it. http://idlehourbar.com/
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Idle Hour is a vintage-inspired establishment in a building built in the 1940s, where comfort food is the foundation of their menu.

A Little Bit of Everything (That's Delicious)
Smorgasburg L.A. is a New York City-inspired, weekly pop-up food festival with dozens of exciting food vendors that all have something special to offer. The vendors serve up everything from seafood to doughnuts, and even ice cream inspired by the love of traveling. It's located at ROW DTLA in the Alameda Produce Market every Sunday, and the best part is that parking is plentiful and free for the first two hours. http://la.smorgasburg.com/
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Enjoy sweets, snacks and more at LA's pop-up food festival.

French Baked Goods
For more than 30 years, people have been flocking to La Conversation in West Hollywood. It's a country bakery, not a Parisian patisserie. And if you're a cake lover, this place will blow you away. Some out-of-towners make sure to stop in every time they're in L.A. You got to try the macadamia nut heart, a small tea cake made with ground macadamia nuts and dipped in white or dark chocolate. There's also a yummy Milanese, a hazelnut teacake, that is to die for. http://www.laconversationbakery.com/
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La Conversation in West Hollywood offers yummy French baked goods.


Cheese and Wine, and More Cheese
In the charming city of Ventura are several hidden gems. This beach community is a great place to vacation or visit for the day. Make sure to stop at Grant Park to check out the stunning view of the city of Ventura before taking in the many shops on Main Street. And do not miss the wine and cheese plates at Paradise Pantry across from the San Buenaventura Mission.
http://venturacountycoast.com/
http://www.paradisepantry.com/
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Paradise Pantry in Ventura offers some fabulous wine and cheese plates.

Sushi with a Star!
Known for his dashing good looks (who can forget those romance novel covers from the '80s) and warm demeanor, Fabio's favorite place for super fresh sushi in L.A. is Sushi House in Studio City. We had to join him for a bite. The owner of Sushi House, Doug, won't serve anything that isn't at the peak of freshness. And if you're looking to try something new, there's a dish there named after Fabio called Fabu-licious with shishito peppers on albacore tuna, all topped with fresh wasabi. Ohhh yeah.
http://www.sushihse.com/
http://www.fabioinc.com/
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Fabio's favorite is Sushi House in Studio City.


Having Fun While Getting Fit
Created by world-renowned gymnast Christopher Harrison, AntiGravity Yoga is a fitness fusion incorporating yoga elements with gymnastics and aerial arts. You'll feel your muscles lengthen and tone as you benefit from zero-compression inversion. Aerial yoga also releases stress, tension, and leaves you feeling completely relaxed. Plus, it's so cool to watch. Would you do it?
http://www.antigravityfitness.com/
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AntiGravity fuses yoga with gymnastics and aerial arts.

Good Kind of Pain
Kung Fu Paul and his wife are not only masters of Kung Fu, they are also expert massage therapists in the rare and ancient practice of Kung Fu Acupressure, developed 1500 years ago by the Shaolin Kung Fu masters. The pair focuses on loosening your tendons rather than sore or tight muscles. Although the therapy is painful, most people walk away feeling better than ever, and have even been able to avoid surgery because of it.

Kung Fu Acupressure Therapy LLC
22707 Victory Blvd
West Hills, CA 91307
(818)346-2270

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Kung Fu Acupressure focuses on loosening the tendons.


Safari in Malibu
Get your wine on in the wild! Malibu Wine Safari takes you on a ride around a 1,000 acre vineyard and ranch in Malibu. Get up close and personal with animals like Stanley the Giraffe, zebras, alpacas, and water buffalo while stopping in scenic locales for wine breaks. It's a fun excursion that makes you feel like you're somewhere else. http://www.lasafaris.com
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Malibu Wine Safari takes you on a ride around a 1,000 acre vineyard and ranch in Malibu.


Stage Shows That Rock
Hidden down an unassuming alley in Los Feliz, you'll find Rockwell Table and Stage, and one of the most entertaining brunches ever. Not only do they serve up brunch classics with bottomless mimosas, but they put on shows cast with Broadway singers and dancers. Enjoy unauthorized musical renditions and parodies that are so good, the original actors have stopped by to catch the show!
http://rockwell-la.com/
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Rockwell Table & Stage in Los Feliz serves up brunch classics with Broadway shows.

Cool L.A. History
Does the San Fernando Valley bring nostalgic memories for you? Then you must visit the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth, featuring an impressive collection of rare documents, vintage neon signs, yearbooks, bicycles and even automobiles from the valley's past. It's a great place to learn about the San Fernando Valley's history from 1800 to the 1980s. It's open Saturdays and free to the public.
https://valleyrelicsmuseum.org/
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The Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth features an impression collection of items from the San Fernando Valley's past.

Day Trip to Santa Barbara on a Vintage Train
L.A. Rail Streamliners are an authentic blast from the past. The vintage train travel experience is based out of the historic Union Station in downtown L.A. If you enjoy trains, this is the place for you. And if you want to take an all-day journey, L.A. Rail Streamliners offers the exclusive Santa Barbara Vino Train! Leave from Union Station in the morning with a chef-made breakfast and arrive in Santa Barbara mid-morning for an enjoyable tourist experience before heading back home while enjoying dinner and vino, of course. http://larail.com/index.php
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The wine is flowing on the Santa Barbara Vino Train which leaves from Union Station.

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