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SMC, Ye Olde King's Head Top LA Times Readers' Choice Poll

Santa Monica has the best community college and pub in Southern California, according to the survey of more than 40,000 participants.

is the best community college in Southern California, and is the best pub in the region, according to the Los Angeles Times Readers' Choice 2011 poll.

More than 40,000 readers participated in the best-of-Southern-California poll, which was featured as an insert in the Sunday edition of the newspaper. Categories also include best restaurant, best park and best resort, among others.

The LA Times noted SMC's leading transfer rate to University of California schools, employment-training classes and accreditation with the Western Association of Schools and Colleges as the college's strongest assets. SMC "is clearly a top choice for Southern Californians seeking a quality education and tools for future success," the paper said.

(Go to read Santa Monica Patch's interview with SMC President Dr. Chui Tsang.)

As for Ye Olde King's Head, the LA Times noted its breakfast, bangers and mash, and creamy chicken curry. "If you're typically English and cynical about 'British-style' pubs stateside, Ye Olde King's Head will have you feeling downright nostalgic for the old country," the paper said.

(Go to read Santa Monica Patch columnist Robbie Pickard's amusing take on the pub.)

Among the other categories featured in the poll, a handful of chain stores and restaurants with locations in Santa Monica made the cut. They include , which was founded in Santa Monica in 2003 and topped the best-burger category.

Here are the other chain companies that have locations in SM and topped their categories:

• (best gym/ fitness/ health club; two locations in Santa Monica)

• (best travel agency)

•  (best Indian restaurant)

• (best bookstore)

•  (best sports bar/ bar and grill)

•  (best wine and spirits)

•  (best sporting goods)

•  (best wine bar)

•  (best kid-friendly restaurant)

•  (best bank/ credit union; two locations in Santa Monica)

•  (best business lunch)

•  (best charity/nonprofit)

•  (best financial planning)

•  (best breakfast/brunch)

•  (best doughnut shop)

•  (best Chinese restaurant)

•  (best Realtor)

•  (best coffeehouse; 11 locations in Santa Monica)

•  (best grocery store)

•  (best fast food)

• (best yoga/pilates)

Do you agree with the LA Times readers' poll results? Do you disagree? What would your list(s) look like? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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