Roop: I've been going to the LA area (Irvine) for business recently and have checked it out a little. It makes me feel lucky to live in New England, even if we can only fish (comfortably) 7 months out of the year. They get very excited about catching 12-14 inch surfperch and croakers (or something else rather bait-like). To me it seems the shorebound angler's choices are very limited and not much to get too excited about.
One place to try is the mouth of the Santa Ana River which flows through Newport Beach and which you can see as you head down the Pacific Coast Highway out of LA. I stopped there last time I was there (early January) and spoke with a guy who was gearing up to hit the suds with a fly rod. He said he sometimes takes some nice halibut from the surf there and mentioned he has caught a few in the 20lb range. He seemed to indicate these were the exception rather than the norm, however. He also mentioned that last year some guys were catching striped bass off the mouth of the river but they chalked that up to the strange weather of last winter and he hadn't heard any reports of them being around this year. The mouth of the Santa Ana River looks very fishy and if it were here in New England would be a gold mine. If you want to fish it, bring waders and a class IV or V full sinking line with 1/0 clousers (various colors). The guys I spoke with had his rig set up with a second, smaller clouser (this one was had rootbeer grizzly tied into it) trailing his first and said the big halibut often hit the second one. He explained the best time to fish there was the last two hours of the outgoing tide through the first two hours of the incoming. Like here in the northeast, he said it pays to scope the place out at dead low and look for the toughs and bars and then work those areas as the tide comes up.