You'll find our readers' top picks for restaurants serving absolutely fabulous food, shops that put Rodeo Drive to shame, and the best watering hole to see and be seen while you wet your whistle. There are fitness classes to keep you looking divine and the best chiropractor for your spine, the top dry cleaner for your gown and the best happy hour in town. You'll never have to guess what makes Mountain View residents stand up and cheer — it's all right here.
FOOD AND DRINK
A warm, fluffy bagel with melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese is a popular combination at Posh Bagel, which Readers' Choice voters have elected their favorite bagel shop. If it seems more crowded than usual, it could be because customers of the Menlo Park Posh Bagel location are making a longer trip for a bagel fix, since that store was damaged by a June 16 fire that started in a neighboring business. 444 Castro St. Suite 120, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 6:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-3 p.m.; 968-5308
Founded in 1981, Le Boulanger offers award-winning sourdough as well as 20 other varieties of other bread and pastries. According to store manager Andre Teerlet, the bakery in Mountain View also features "the best meat and cheese." Diners can also choose from healthier options like the new summer salad.
650 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 6 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; 961-1787
BAR, HAPPY HOUR, FINE DINING, BUSINESS LUNCH, MEDITERRANEAN
Cascal is clearly one of Mountain View's favorite restaurants, winning in five categories this year. With Spanish hospitality and Latin flavor, Cascal caters to most dining desires. Enjoy a wide variety of tapas paired with an extensive wine list and "sexy" cocktails in a vibrant setting. The restaurant also offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights. A close second in the bar category is St. Stephen's.
400 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.-10 p.m.; 650-940-9500
When you see an armadillo wearing cowboy boots, you know you're in Armadillo Willy's and you know you're in the right place for good barbecue. The BBQ joint has served Mountain View, as well as other Bay Area locations, with authentic Texas barbecue since 1983. Three different types of ribs and nearly everything else are cooked over a wood fire, Armadillo Willy's barbecue sauce will stick to your insides, in a good way.
1031 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat.11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 941-2922
When yet another bowl of cereal makes you want to skip the morning meal, locals recommend Hobee's. The Bay Area chain of homey, no-frills cafes serves a range of lunch and dinner items, but it's best known for its omelets and scrambles, hashbrowns and coffeecake, with breakfast served all day. Joanie's Cafe came in a close second with readers. 2312 Central Expressway, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; 650-968-6050; 4424 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-856-6124; 67 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto, 650-327-4111 hobees.com
Clarke's Charcoal Burger is famous for "good service and good food," owner James Blach says. The burgers weigh 1/3 of a pound and are cooked over charcoal, which makes for an authentic grilled taste. Clarke's now offers delivery and take-out.
615 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; Sat.-Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; 967-0851
Besides holding several Best of Mountain View awards, La Costena holds a Guinness Book record for the largest burrito, built in Rengstorff Park. A favorite in the southern end of the Peninsula, the custom-built burritos are sure to fill you up and loyal patrons say they taste great.
2078 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 7 a.m. - 11 p.m.; 967-0507
At Chef Chu's, diners can order such timeless favorites as Mongolian beef, Kung Pao chicken and chow mein. But also hidden on the huge menu are delicacies not found at every neighborhood Chinese restaurant — Eight-Treasure Squab, anyone? It's this commitment to Chinese cuisine at its best that has made Chef Chu's a favorite for Peninsula residents, who also chose it as their favorite take-out spot. A close second for Chinese restaurant: Su Hong in Palo Alto. 1067 N. San Antonio Road, Los Altos; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat.-Sun. noon-10 p.m.; 948-2696.
This year's winner for Best Coffee House, Red Rock Coffee on Castro, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Assistant Manager John Dustman said Red Rock is popular not only because of its coffee (though he said customers are partial to the cappuccino), but also because of its community-oriented focus. The cafe showcases local art, hosts book clubs and three different knitting groups and features live music on Fridays and Saturdays and an open-mic night on Mondays.
201 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thurs. 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Fri. 7 a.m.-11p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-11 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; 967-4473
Dittmer's Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus is the go-to place for a extensive selection of hand-crafted meat, which include both the typical sausages and beef, and rarities such as bison. In addition to the meat, Dittmer's also has a good sandwich area, with offerings like garlic sausage and Dutch crunch bread, and it sells a selection of European goodies.
400 San Antonio Road, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; 941-3800
With the recent explosion of farmers market's popularity, Mountain View is proud to host the fourth-largest in the state. Located at the Mountain View train station, the market offers an extensive selection of organic produce, baked goods and fresh flowers. Open year round, the market makes a great Sunday morning excursion.
600 W Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; Sun. 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; (800) 806-3276
Bright neon signs, cutting edge design, and new spins on classic Vietnamese recipes, Xahn exemplifies the hip, modern restaurant. Thanks to Chef Thuy Pham's direction, Xahn caters to Mountain View's clientele with a variety of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. Now opened for buffet lunch, the restaurant offers family-style dining during the day and an exciting, nightlife experience after the sun goes down.
110 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 4:30-Close; Sat.-Sun. 5 p.m.-Close; 964-1888
Owner Steve Rasmussen says shoppers come to the Milk Pail Market for "one of the largest cheese selections in California and incredible produce prices." You don't have to be Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm to find something to like at Milk Pail, which sells a wide variety of gourmet and specialty foods.
2585 California St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-7 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.- 6 p.m.; 941-2505
Uncompromising and unforgettable, Gelato Classico offers a taste of La Dolce Vita. Known for its long lines and customer service, Gelato Classico gets people coming back for one reason — taste. With classic Italian flavors such as pistachio or tiramisu, the ice cream shop is tops with our readers.
241-B Castro St., Mountain View; Sun.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; 969-2900
Owner Vijay Bist opened Amber India 16 years ago, and he says, "Our chef has been passionate about cooking since day one." Amber India has since expanded to four locations, but Mountain View diners can still find great service and delicious dishes at its El Camino Real restaurant.
2290 El Camino Real, Mountain View; daily, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; 968-7511
Frankie, Johnnie and Luigi's does home-style Italian food, and does it well. You won't find the Godfather here, but in addition to traditional pastas and garlic bread, there's a wide selection of pizzas (try the margherita) and wine. Open until midnight on weekdays and 1 a.m. on weekends, it's also perfect for after-hours late-night cravings.
939 El Camino Real; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m.; 967-5384
Known throughout Mountain View for its authentic Mexican cuisine, Fiesta del Mar takes the prize again this year. Enjoy unique Mexican camarones (shrimp) dishes and select from 200 tequilas. Its margaritas are said to be unsurpassed. Online take-out ordering is newly available through the restaurant's website. A close second in this category is Taqueria Los Charros.
1005 N Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sat. noon-9:30 p.m.; Sun. noon-9 p.m.; 965-9354
Offering traditional Turkish food since 2005, Cafe Baklava wins the best Middle Eastern cuisine again. With many traditional Middle Eastern/Mediterrean classics like Doner Kebap and Moussaka, Cafe Baklava embodies authenticity. Diners can drink Turkish beer and smoke hookahs in an elegant setting; it's no wonder Cafe Baklava has customers returning again and again. 341 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.; Sun. noon-9:30 p.m.; 969-3835
Toru Hagiwara, store manager, says Maru Ichi is proud of its "Japanese traditional noodles." Customers appreciate the noodle house for the steaming bowls of tasty ramen in rich broth, as well as the low prices, quick service and casual atmosphere.
368 Castro St. Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m.-10 p.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.-9 pm.; 564-9931
Few drink venues offer as much variety as Tapioca Express, affectionately known as TapEx. In addition to selling the ubiquitous pearl milk tea, it also has teas, snow bubbles and icies in flavors like green bean, red bean and lychee (and also more common flavors for those less adventurous). It also doubles as a lunch place: try something from the pan-Asian snack menu like the Vietnamese spring rolls or Chinese pork buns.
740 Villa St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-1 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; 965-3093
Mamma Mia! Amici's East Coast Pizzeria has Mountain View in love again. With thin-crust New York-style pizza, Amici's offers a taste of the East Coast in the Bay Area. The pizza margherita is a must have, and Amici's combo with pepperoni, meatball, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and black olives is a close second.
790 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; 961-6666
Customers stop by the Cantankerous Fish for its selection of fresh calamari, mahi mahi and more, but also notable is the restaurant's Happy Hour deals. Drop in Monday to Friday from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. to try the bar menu, which includes sliders, nachos and tempura for $5 per item, and well drinks, beers on tap and house wines for only $3.
420 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m..; Sat.-Sun. 4:30 p.m.-1 a.m.; 966-8124
Sushi Tomi is known for its fresh fish and wide variety of very traditional sushi. The restaurant has become popular over the years through word of mouth, and customers come back again and again. Though there is often a wait during busy hours, the Japanese delicacies are well worth it.
635 W. Dana St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., Sat. 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m.-9 p.m.; 968-3227
For the ninth year in a row Amarin Thai takes the prize. With over 80 dishes, Amarin provides high quality Thai favorites while managing to stay affordable. Try the forest curry in the seafood hot pot for an authentic Thai cuisine experience.
174-176 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 5 p.m.-10 p.m.; 988-9323
AUTO BODY REPAIR
C&C Body Shop's experienced professionals, reasonable price estimates and quick service — often sooner than the estimate — have earned it a spot on the "Best of Mountain View" for the second year running. It offers services like 24-hour emergency help and paint repair, and will even provide early bird drop-offs and loaner cars.
251 Moffett Blvd., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; 964-3119
SimpleCarz is known for quality service. Happy customers mention the personal and reasonable business style of owner Edgar Salas. Along with low prices, SimpleCarz also offers free pick-up/drop-off for customers leaving their car at the shop.
555 E Evelyn Ave., Mountain View; (888) 588-2279
For 38 years, Larry's Auto Works provides the type of auto repair that gives its customers peace of mind. Owner Larry Moore said his customers have told him they keep coming back because of the honest and trustworthy service, and because "we don't try to sell them things they don't need."
2526 Leghorn St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m.; 492-5443
A new category this year, Boutique 4 wins the nod for the best boutique. Offering timeless and classic clothing for women, Tamara Michel, co-owner with her sister Julie, says that they have "styles that never go out of style." The shop also sells accessories and gifts, such as bath and body products.
279 Castro St., Mountain View; Sun.-Thu. 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; 903-9444
Locals suffering from arthritis, sports injuries and back and neck pain head to Lisa Devlin's offices. Devlin says she uses a technique that's very comfortable — "no twisting, cracking or popping." She's the only chiropractor in the area to use K-laser therapy for arthritis, she says.
1265 Montecito Ave., Mountain View; Mon. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Tue. 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Wed. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; 428 0950
With near-perfect scores on Yelp!, Smiles Dental is a favorite of Mountain View residents. Business manager Dena Ramirez attributes the business' success to its top dentists as well as the customer service staff's attention to detail. In addition to all using digital x-ray technology, the office also provides televisions and snacks for customers.
100 El Camino Real, Suite 63A, Mountain View; Mon. - Thurs. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; 964-2626
After 45 years in the same location, Blossom Valley Cleaners & Drapes still sees the occasional new customer. When employee Sandy Leung asks how they've found the store, they usually say they're new to Mountain View and this was their neighbor's first recommendation. "We know there must be something we're doing right," Leung says.
1782 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View; Mon. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; 968-1321
What better way to get a true glimpse of Hollywood than at the movies? Century 16 is a favorite hot spot for local residents of all ages. Whether for date night, a matinee with the kids, or a night out with friends, the 16 screens are sure to entertain. Don't forget to save room for popcorn.
1500 North Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View; (800) 326-3264
Winning the best fitness classes again, Overtime Fitness combines the personal feel of a small gym with the high-tech equipment of a larger facility. They even have a free-standing rock wall. They offer a multitude of classes such as spinning, yoga, and the popular Latin dance Zumba. Coming in a close second was FullForce Fitness.
1625 N Shoreline Blvd.; Mon.-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; 265-2040
The El Camino YMCA is a family-friendly gym — in addition to offering aerobic machines, free weights and exercise classes, the YMCA takes care of the kids while the parents work out. This YMCA, part of the world's largest non-profit, also has a swimming pool with aquatic classes, and offers financial assistance for kids who want to attend its summer programs.
2400 Grant Road, Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 7 a.m.-7 p .m.; 969-9622
The people have spoken and Hilton Garden Inn has won the award for best hotel. Winning the prize many times over the years, the Hilton Garden Inn offers rates as low as $89 for weekends. With a restaurant, outdoor pool and spa, fitness center, meeting rooms and free Wi-Fi, the Garden Inn is a great place for leisure or business.
840 E El Camino Real, Mountain View; 964-1700
"Watercourse Way was inspired by the natural hot springs of Tassajara," co-manager Nathan Hanley says. Visitors enjoy the spa's peaceful ambience during massages, and can opt for a hot stone or couples massage. Watercourse Way also provides hot tub rentals and a variety of spa and skin care treatments.
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto; Sun.-Thu. 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 8 a.m.-12:30 a.m.; 462-2000
Residents who frequent La Monique appreciate its hot stone massages, pedicures with paraffin wax and high-quality care; the venue uses only sterilized tools from a pouch. La Monique offers discounts as well: appointments made for Monday through Thursday before 3 p.m. are 10 percent off the regular price.
650 Castro St., Ste. 175, Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; 968-9901
With 38 years of experience in the business, the Car Doctor knows how to diagnose an automotive bug. This year's winner in the oil change category, the Car Doctor offers speedy, quality service and seeks to build long-term relationships with customers.
2239 Old Middlefield Way, Suite D, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; 988-8600
Alpine Animal believes that providing excellent medical care for your animals is a mixture of modern medical science and compassionate care. Alpine Animal offers services such as ultrasounds and in-house blood work, but Dr. Rebecca McClellan says it is the hospital's great communication that keeps bringing pet owners back. Alpine Animal makes it a policy to continually call and check up to see how the animal is doing.
2460 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.; 969-8555
Around the Clock's competent staff keeps long hours, ensuring that you'll never be Home Alone with a late-night plumbing emergency. Customers appreciate the quick service and helpful advice. Dave's Custom Plumbing came in a close second place.
724 Central Ave., Mountain View; 8 a.m.-4:45 p.m. (office); 968-1100
Entering its 25th year of business, Harrell Remodeling has been a valued member of Mountain View's construction community for decades. Director of marketing Bella Badot says the popularity stems not just from the high-quality and timely work, but also from the attention to detail and constant follow-up each client is given.
1954 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; 230-2900
A three-time past winner for the best salon in Mountain View, Allure aims to make clients feel as if they've walked out of a magazine photo shoot. The salon offers a variety of hair treatments, including perms and coloring, as well as facials and nail treatments. It has recently added spray tanning to its list of services.
888 Villa Street, Suite 100, Mountain View; 938-8777
With cowboy boots lining its walls, A Minute Man appears to be an old-fashioned shop. It is known for quick — often same-day — service at reasonable prices. Boots and shoes are their specialty, and customers leave satisfied and well-shod.
738 Villa St., Mountain View; Mon.-Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m.; 968-0358
This year Aruna wins the best spa in Mountain View. According to Hindu philosophy, Aruna means radiance, wisdom and passion. And it is Aruna's passion for care that has garnered its success. Relax with message and facials or let your worries drift away in the spa's floatation pool. Body Wraps spa off El Camino was a close second.
2500 California St.; Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; 949-1800
Sole di Paradiso isn't cheap, but customers come back for the service and facilities. Thoughtful touches like earphones, custom eye goggles and Hershey's Kisses make customers feel like pampered stars. The tanning salon offers FDA-approved UVA beds and the popular Mystic spray tan.
1039 El Monte Ave., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; 969-1888
Yoga is Youthfulness offers classes in a several disciplines, including ashtanga and ayengar yoga, among others. The schedule also features prenatal yoga and classes for kids, and the studio opens at 6 a.m. on most days for early birds, with all levels welcome to practice in an encouraging environment.
590 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sun. 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., 964-5277
Breaking Away from the pack is The Off Ramp, Silicon Valley's largest bike store. In addition to offering thousands of bikes, it often has markdowns on its gear. It is staffed by specialists eager to advise the novice cyclist and the pro on everything from how to choose a bike to how to train for a long ride.
2320 W El Camino Real, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; 968-2974
A "Best Of" runner-up in years past, Book Buyers surged into the leading role this year. It's known for being a community place, where customers can find books on almost any subject. But besides serving Mountain View's human population, the shop also has some canine regulars. Each month, the store profiles a "community dog." They've also seen rabbits, birds, and cats in the store. A close second in this category is Books Inc.
317 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu., Sun. 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-12 a.m.; 968-7323
The Linden Tree offers a wide selection of books, music and toys for children. Parents appreciate the cozy atmosphere and quaint location in downtown Los Altos. The store also hosts a summer concert series for families.
170 State St., Los Altos; Mon.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; 949-3390
Robert Moore Flowers has blossoms for any special occasion, from new babies to weddings. The flower shop also celebrates everyday life with its summer bouquets. The florists are eager to help customers find the perfect arrangement.
881 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.; 967-2307
Mountain View's Orchard Supply Hardware has been in business for over 75 years, and is known for its good appliance selection and the variety of plants available in the nursery. This local branch has friendly and knowledgeable staff willing to help everywhere, from the hardware department to the paint counter. Don't forget to check out the coupons online.
2555 Charleston Road, Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 691-2000
Cost Plus is a local favorite for great finds at shockingly low prices. Spice up your home with vibrant furniture and decorations from far-off lands. It also offers all the essentials for kitchen and dining needs, as well as garden decor.
1910 W El Camino Real, Mountain View; Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; (650) 961-6066
For the friend who has everything but a brass Buddha, East West Bookstore is the right stop for unusual gifts. East West has far more than books — there's garden decor, jewelry and a yoga studio out back. Around the store will be spiritual music and chanting CDs, tarot decks, crystals, books by the Dalai Llama, and yes, Buddha statues of all materials and sizes. In addition, East West hosts weekly seminars on soul healing, meditation for beginners and more.
324 Castro St., Mountain View; Mon.-Thu. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; 988-9800
REI is dedicated to the environment. From recycling to replacing high-energy spotlights, store manager Robert Stepro says "REI is leading the way environmentally." The co-op supports products that reduce its environmental impact — that's a new jacket you can feel good about.
2450 Charleston Road, Mountain View; Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-9p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; 969-1938
Mountain View residents have flipped Sideways for the new wine bar Savvy Cellar. Offering award-winning wine classes and tastings every Sunday, Savvy Cellar has become the go to place for fine wines in Mountain View. The prices are also reasonable for the oenophile on a budget — 90-plus point wines are priced at $39 or less.
750 Evelyn St., Mountain View; Tue.-Thu. 4 p.m.-10 p.m.; Fri-Sat 2 p.m.-11p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; 969-3958
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