Club DJ

1st Place
Kyle Taylor

2nd Place
DJ PJ

3rd Place
DJ 4eleven

Local Band

1st Place
Rey Fresco

2nd Place
Shades of Day

3rd Place
Big bad voodoo daddy

Dance Club

1st Place
Candlelight
211 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura
643-3264

2nd Place
Nicholby’s
410 E. Main St. Ventura
653-2320

3rd Place
Bombay Bar & Grill
143 S. California St., Ventura
643-4404

 

1Best Place to Pretend You’re Someone Else

The Armory at Epic
2855 Johnson Drive, Suite A, Ventura, 650-1213 

You’re working diligently to level your tauren druid to 80 so you can raid with your guild, and you’re chomping at the bit for Blizzard’s upcoming World of Warcraft (WoW) expansion, “Cataclysm,” but your gameplay is already lagging and the graphics are dull. Meanwhile, your Xbox 360 has the dreaded three red rings, and in this economy a PS3 is out of the question. But you and your friends are betting high that you can get five stars on Rock Band for the Outlaw’s “Green Grass and High Tides,” and you need to practice “Through the Fire and Flames,” by Dragonforce, for an upcoming duel. This is when you haul ass over to the Armory gaming center at Epic in east Ventura, where for 12 sweet hours a day you can be virtually anyone you want to be and get lost in all sorts of virtual realities for a ridiculously small price.

Whether your fantasy involves fighting crime, killing zombies, slaying dragons or shredding on guitar for an audience of cartoons, every game for every console is at your disposal. The post-apocalyptic Disneyland-meets-Bladerunner décor sets just the right mood for bloodshed, brutality and heroism at the Armory, where the typical response of first-time visitors is “Holy crap!” With 31 computers equipped with more than 100 games, including WoW, Call of Duty 4 and Halo 3, there is no excuse for boredom. Additionally, the Armory is outfitted with two Xbox 360s, a Wii, a PS3, and for old-schoolers, an Atari 2600. All this and if you want to play with a fellow dweeb in Japan or the guy next door, you are limited only by your imagination. Various refreshments are available for purchase in the building at Synapse.

— Michel Cicero

 

Karaoke Bar

 

1st Place
Golden China
760 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
652-0688

2nd Place
Billy O’s
2819 E. Main St., Ventura
652-0327

3rd Place
Paddy’s
2 W. Main St., Ventura
652-1071

Live Music Venue

1st Place
Zoey’s
451 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1137

2nd Place
Ventura Theater
26 S. Chestnut St., Ventura
653-0721

3rd Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

Open Mic

1st Place
Zoey’s
451 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1137

2nd Place
It’s All Good Bar
533 E. Main St., Ventura
641-9951

3rd Place
Sans Souci
21 S. Chestnut St., Ventura
643-4539

 

2Best Escape from the Hollywood Status Quo

Paseo Camarillo
390 Lantana, Camarillo, 383-2269

Ventura County’s close proximity to the movie capital of the world seems to do one of two things for people here: we come to gain more appreciation for the celluloid products churned out by the Hollywood machine, or we become disenchanted, maybe even a bit bedraggled and weary, of the over-glamorized and super-stylized blockbuster hype, year after year after year.

If you’re a member of the latter group, preferring to bask in the projected glow of anything filmic and independently made, you can probably relate to the lack of enough local indie cinemas in this county, save for an hour-long trek down to Los Angeles. Ojai’s Playhouse Theater made its comeback last year and has since made great strides in exclusive showings of documentaries and foreign fare. But it was shuttered for some time, and the Paseo Camarillo movie house was the lone, stalwart screener to fly the indie flag full time.

The small, three-screen theater boasts the best of all the new, current art house films, most of them selections for, or winners of, international festivals: Cannes … Sundance … Toronto … even Ft. Lauderdale. This month alone, the six-strung thunder of It Might Get Loud, the gallows humor of Cold Souls, or the Aryan histrionics of The Baader Meinhof Complex — combined with thoughtful fare like Who Killed the Electric Car? — and you have a cinematic recipe never to be cooked up at the local multiplex anytime soon.

Fans of classic movies should look out for special seasonal screenings of all the revered timeless fare, too — the Casablancas, Hitchcocks, James Deans and Connery-era Bonds.

The Paseo makes for an unlikely neighbor in the corner of the strip mall it calls home, sandwiched between the odd likes of a sports bar, insurance agent and vacuum cleaner store. But like the mainstream Ventura County tide it flows against, seeking out a flick there — one where parking the brain under one’s chair is not required — makes it worth the effort.

A Bunuel among Bays. A Scorcese among Schumachers. A Kubrick among … well, everyone else.

— Paul Sisolak 

 

Classical Music Venue

 

1st Place
Fred Kavli Theater
2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks 449-ARTS

2nd Place
Libbey Bowl
Ojai Libbey Bowl, Ojai Avenue and
Signal Street Ojai

3rd Place
Oxnard Performing Arts center
800 Hobson Way, Oxnard
486-2424

Comedy Club

1st Place
Ventura Harbor Comedy Club
1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
644-1500

2nd Place
Ventura Improv
34 N. Palm St., Ventura
643-5701

3rd Place
Oxnard Comedy Connection
Old Dublin Pub & Grill
1900 S. Victoria Ave.
985-6750

Bartender

1st Place
Erik Myles (Dirty Vinyl Bar &
Art Gallery)
1644 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
641-1500

2nd Place
Danny D’Auria (Paddy’s)
2 W. Main St., Ventura
652-1071

3rd Place
Johnny (Anacapa brewing)
472 E. Main St., Ventura,
643-BEER

Gay Bar

Paddy’s
2 W. Main St., Ventura
652-1071

Sports Bar

1st Place
Rookees
419 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6862

2nd Place
Cronies
2855 Johnson Drive, Ventura
650-6026

370 N. Lantana St., Camarillo
482-5900

2752 Cochran St., Simi Valley
583-9999.

3rd Place
Bench warmer
1855 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4303

Jukebox

1st Place
Sans Souci
21 S. Chestnut St., Ventura
643-4539

2nd Place
El Rey
294 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1111

3rd Place
Busy Bee Cafe
478 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4864

Singles Hangout

1st Place
Candlelight
211 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura
643-3264

2nd Place
Cafe Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

3rd Place
El Rey
294 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1111

Happy Hour

1st Place
Rookees
419 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6862

2nd Place
Yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2700

86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo
389-9922

1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard
985-1360

3rd Place
Aloha Steakhouse
364 S. California St., Ventura
652-1799

Place to shoot pool

1st Place
Stiix Billiards
2520 E. Main St., Ventura
641-2020

2nd Place
Victoria Pub
1413 S. Victoria Ave., # F, Ventura
650-0060

3rd Place
Garman’s Pub
932 E. Main St., Santa Paula
933-4600

Place to throw darts

1st Place
Victoria Pub
1413 S. Victoria Ave. # F, Ventura
650-0060

2nd Place
Bench warmer
1855 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4303

3rd Place
Garman’s Pub
932 E. Main St., Santa Paula
933-4600

Wine Bar

1st Place
Wine Rack/Weaver Wines
14 S. California St., Ventura
653-9463

2nd Place
Wine Lovers
1067 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
652-1810

3rd Place
The Cave
4435 McGrath St., Suite # 301, Ventura
642-9449

Dive Bar

1st Place
Sans Souci
21 S. Chestnut St., Ventura, 643-4539

2nd Place
Star Lounge
343 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-4709

3rd Place
Billy O’s
2819 E. Main St.,Ventura, 652-0327

Serves the best Martini

1st Place
CafE Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

2nd Place
J’s Tapas
208 E. Main St., Ventura
648-4853

3rd Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

Serves the best Margarita

1st Place
Yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2700

86 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo
389-9922

1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard
985-1360

2nd Place
Casa de Soria
1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-2083

3rd Place
El Rey
294 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1111

Best beer on Tap

1st Place
Anacapa Brewing Company
472 E. Main St., Ventura
643-BEER

2nd Place
Winchesters
632 E. Main St., Ventura
653-7446

3rd Place
Dargan’s Pub
593 E. Main St., Ventura
648-3001

Cigar Store

1st Place
Smoker’s Castle
1824 E. Main St., Ventura
643-7894

2nd Place
Ojai Beverage Company
655 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
646-1700

3rd Place
John T’s
3301 E. Main St., # 1024, Ventura
654-1570

Head Shop

1st Place
Salzer’s
5777 Valentine Road, Ventura
639-2160

2nd Place
Wild Planet
560 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-5238

3rd Place
Pipeline
228 E. Thompson Blvd., # B, Ventura

Best Arcade

1st Place
Golf N’ Stuff
5555 Walker St., Ventura
644-7131

2nd Place
Ventura Village Carousel
1567 Spinnaker Drive, #100, Ventura
644-3234

3rd Place
Buena Lanes
1788 Mesa Verde Ave., Ventura
656-0666

Best Cheap Date

1st Place
The Beach

2nd Place
Skating Plus “Adult Night”
1720 Mesa Verde Ave. Ventura
656-2121

3rd Place
Golf N’ Stuff
5555 Walker St., Ventura
644-7131

Best Place to Celebrate

1st Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

2nd Place
Brooks Restaurant
545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
652-7070

3rd Place
CafE Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

Serves the best Bloody Mary

1st Place
The Sportsman
53 S. California St., Ventura
643-2851

2nd Place
Brophy Brothers
1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
639-0865

3rd Place
Eric Ericsson’s Fish Co.
668 E. Harbor Blvd., Ventura
643-4783