Do you have a specific discipline in mind? I know Time Cartell [sp?] is in Cali. He teaches Chin Na, which in my opinion is the most realistic and practical Chinese discipline.
It utilizes Joint locks/manipulation, cavity presses, dividing the muscle, tendons and bones, sealing the breath and muscle grabbing. It's techniques can run the gambit of simple pain compliance control to more permenant means. His course seems to be extremely designed for practicality and realism.
Or you can move to Florida and I'll teach you , I'm and instructor and use Chin Na in perhaps 95% of the physical altercations I'm forced into.
They are correct, Chin Na is not a 'style' per se. It is not something you would train in and get 'rank'. If you already train in Hapkido then you would be familar with the conceps and techniques, though by different names. My ranking in Hapkido was pretty easy with the prior Chin Na training.
I use Chin Na/Hapkido techiniques far more than any other.
I don't know how close Irvine is to you but Sifu John Cheng, MD. has a school there and is extremely reputable. He grew up with my Sifu and is part of the US Kung Fu Exchange. If I wasn't training with my Sifu, he would be my next choice. He teaches mainly 7 Star Preying Mantis but incorporates alot of Wah Lum, Chin Na, and even Hung Gar and Eagle Claw. Here is a Link to his website.