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Jessica Ulloa is flanked by Gold's Gym trainers Steve Laughlin and Michael Saffaie at Gum Tree in Hermosa Beach

Gum TreeBest of the Beach logoThe distinctive boutique and Australia-inspired café, overlooking the ocean from a 1911 Craftsman bungalow, has quickly become a beach cities favorite.

Lori Ford’s domain, the homey boutique, features Dash and Albert rugs, throws, pillows from Thomas Paul, Moroccan leather poofs for the living room, Jonathan Adler salt and pepper shakers, etched glassware and Australian cookbooks for the dining room, luxurious soaps, candles, pajamas and stationery, Tokyo Milk, vintage paperweights, items for kids including quirky board books and happy knit dolls from Blabla, plus jewelry, scarves and accessories from designers including Chan Luu, Catherine Weitzman, Wendy Mink and Dogeared.

Australian transplant Will Ford, a restaurateur by trade, brought a bit of the Melbourne café scene to Hermosa with the eatery, with items such as Aussie meat pies and sausage rolls, Virginia ham and Brie sandwiches, and Lamington, which is sponge cake dipped in premium chocolate and rolled in coconut.

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He uses organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible, and healthy choices are found up and down the menu.

“I guarantee that the organic spinach chicken pesto is the best – the best,” enthused patron Michael Saffaie, a trainer at Gold’s Gym who orders the dish every Tuesday.

Gum Tree also spearheaded the popular First Thursday events that keep doors open and discounts rolling once a month throughout the downtown Hermosa area.

Gum Tree: 238 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach. (310) 376-8733 café, (310) 376-8744 shop. gumtreela.com

Runner-up: Card De A Too, 265 Avenida Del Norte, Redondo Beach. (310) 792-1355.

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