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South Beats North in California Food Fight

November 19, 2000

Northern California, eat your heart out. Southern California now has more top-rated restaurants than the North, according to the 2001 Five Diamond rankings released last week by AAA.

The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel is new to the Five Diamond club, the AAA's highest rating. At the same time, San Francisco's Campton Place Restaurant, which serves French Provencal cuisine in the hotel of the same name, was dropped to Four Diamonds after four years on the Five Diamond list. The Belvedere in Beverly Hills, L'Orangerie in West Hollywood, the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco and Erna's Elderberry House Restaurant in Oakhurst retained their Five Diamond status. Score: South 3, North 2.

A total of 49 restaurants and 59 lodgings in the U.S., Canada and Mexico were rated Five Diamonds for 2001. Most changes were in restaurants, where notable newcomers to the list included Seasons at the Four Seasons Resort, Maui at Wailea, Hawaii, and Victoria & Albert's at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Lake Buena Vista, Fla. California, with eight total, continues to have the most Five Diamond lodgings of any state.

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