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A week ago, I spent six days in California with Mrs. Content Guy, who was on winter break from school and was happy to be invited someplace where there wasn't any snow and the temperatures ranged between 55 and 70 pretty much every day. It was lovely to split our time between Redondo Beach and San Diego ... a nice break from winter, and even a nice break from our kids. I had a couple of speaking engagements, and still was writing MNB and working on a couple of other projects ... but it somehow seemed easier while enjoying the west coast vibe, especially when mornings included a jog along the Strand.

I got an email from an MNB reader wondering why I hadn't written anything in last week's OffBeat about food and drink we'd had out there, and the reason was simple ... I was writing MNB last Friday at 2 am, before heading off at 6 am to teach a class at USC, and lucidity was in short supply. (It was the part of the Food Industry Program at the Marshall School of Business ... and, as always, it was a delight. The students are industry executives from a wide variety of companies, and I always find them to be engaged, focused, and highly motivated. And they even laugh at some of my jokes.)

But there were some terrific meals that we had last week. There were the outstanding fish tacos at Tin Fish Gaslamp in San Diego, a small place downtown where the food is simple and outstanding, and a terrific meal we had at Simmzy's in Manhattan Beach, just up from the pier and a beach-style pub that has turned into my go-to place when I'm in the area. perhaps our favorite meal was a quick and unexpectedly fantastic lunch we had at Puesto in La Jolla ... it specializes in what it calls in "Mexican street food," with some of the best guacamole I've ever had and some amazingly flavorful tacos made from lamb, pork and shrimp. (I clearly have a thing for fish tacos.)

And, of course, there was the mandatory double-double, animal style, at In-N-Out Burger ... still the very definition of what fast food can and should be. And a breakfast at Good Stuff in hermosa Beach, where a breakfast of grilled barramundi, two eggs over easy, brown rice, pico de gallo, and sourdough toast is one of the best ways to start the day, any day.

Two wines to recommend to you this week...the 2009 Mustiguillo Mestis and the 2012 Finca Villacreces Pruno...two wonderfully luscious Spanish reds that are terrific with grilled meats and ribs. (Though to be honest, I had the Pruno with a meat loaf that I made ... and it was comfort-food yummy.)

That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

KC's View: