HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


food in Ojai / Ventura?

Will be up there next week. Any and all eating rec's appreciated, particularly on the inexpensive / solo diner friendly side. Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. though i haven't been there, tedde and christian shaffer, owners of avenue (http://www.avenuemb.com/indexframeset...), one of my favorite restaurants in the south bay, just opened auberge at ojai. like avenue, the menu is seasonal, which i love and offers french-american cuisine. would be interested to hear your feedback if you give it a go.

    la times review: http://tinyurl.com/g5ocw

    restaurant site: http://www.aubergeatojai.com/

    3 Replies
    1. re: wowimadog

      I took my father out to dinner at Augerge for Father's day. The food was great. I haven't been to Avenue, but the menu at Auberge was extremely similar to Chloe, with just 7 or 8 appetizers and the same number of entrees. Two of us had lamb, which was incredible, and my girlfriend had fish. Everything was great, including a very good molten chocolate cake. Dishes are simple, but cooked well. The wine list has a large number of interesting choices.

      Lets see if this gets removed, I tried to post on the LA board asking about this place a month ago.

      1. re: scottyp

        We ate at Auberge a few weeks ago and enjoyed it. There was a potato side dish (Cypriot potatoes I believer they were called) served with the lamb. They were the best potatoes I've had in recent memory.

      2. re: wowimadog

        I ate at Auberge in early September, and loved it. Not on the inexpensive side, but I thought it a good value. I haven't eaten at Avenue, but the menu there looks similar. Based on the LA Times review, I had the Grandmother's chicken (or whatever its called) which I wouldn't have ordered based simply on the menu -- and it was delicious, tender, fresh vegetables. Would be a wonderful dish for a autumen evening, if on the menu this month.

        The balcony at dusk is a beautiful place to eat (though you wouldn't guess it from the outside.)

      3. I have had several very good meals at Suzanne's in Ojai and the garden is a beautiful setting.

        1. If you are staying in Ojai, you may not want to travel all the way to Ventura for food...Ojai is very seductive.

          1. If you are looking for nice but trying not to spend a lot, you might check out Azu (not sure on spelling) on the main drag in Ojai. Gelato counter, small plates and large plates. I've tried a few things and liked them, can't say they are mind-blowing, but a pleasant experience. And they seemed to have bar seating in the front -- if that makes you more comfortable as a solo diner.

            1. I liked Azu quite a bit - I've eaten there pretty much every time I've been to Ojai since they opened.

              They serve tapas style, so you can order a variety of small dishes and have a sampling of flavors. Their wine selection is pretty good and prices are decent. I think they also do takeout.

              1. Boccali's Restaurant (3277 E. Ojai Ave., just outside of the main part of downtown Ojai, (805) 646-6116) has good to very good casual Italian food. Had an excellent meatball sub there a couple of weeks back. Also, during the summer, they grow their own tomatoes, and their fresh tomato/capresse salad is excellent. (The tomatoes weren't yet ripe when we stopped in, but maybe by this weekend...) They have indoor and patio seating, and are definitely solo friendly. Definitely my favorite casual/cheap food in the Ojai area.

                The Ranch House (124 S. Lomita Ave., (805) 646-2360, http://www.theranchhouse.com ) styles itself as more of a high end kind of place. I think the food is just okay to good, but the setting is beautiful and romantic. Also, I like their date nut bread (which they serve and sell).

                1 Reply
                1. re: David Kahn

                  the ranch house was one of the forerunners of cali cuisine many years ago. unfortunately it has died a slow death...

                  Not sure what the ojai valley inn has to offer after remodel, other than high prices, but may be worth a spin.

                  can't think of anything i'd hit there just for for food. couple of good drinking holes-the deer lodge is fun on the weekends....

                2. I second Baccali's for a casual restaurant in Ojai. Wonderful gourmet pizzas and stawberry shortcake to die for.

                  1. I grew up in Ventura and went to high school in Ojai. Unfortunately, Ventura is a bit of a culinary wasteland. There are a few new places on Main St., including Tutti's, but if you're staying in Ojai, I'd stay there for the food.

                    In Ojai on a nice evening, it's always great to pick up a burrito at Rueben's and walk to Libby Park to enjoy it outside.

                    I really like Ojai Cafe Emporium for breakfast and for their lunches -- (try the topa topa salad).

                    I also second the suggestion for Suzanne's. I love the atmosphere at Ranch House, but their food is not very good.

                    1. I second Reuben's for a burrito. I'm partial to the Thacher (hold the onions). They also have really excellent home-made horchata.
                      Boccali's for strawberry shortcake and pizza definitely.
                      If you like burgers the avocado burger at Ojai Frostie holds a special place in my heart. That might be more sentimental than anything though. In fact it probably is.
                      Eat your own hand before going to Carrow's. Even if it's late at night.
                      I have always had a wonderful time outside at Suzanne's.
                      Is the Coffee Emporium or whatever it's called right off the main strip still there? They always had great coffee for breakfast.
                      Ojai Cafe Emporium does have nice salads and a nice environment.
                      Ventura really is a culinary wasteland. Stay away...
                      Why do I get the feeling I went to high school with sfmags?

                      1. I don't know if we went to high school together but I know that I would like any person who says "Eat your own hand before going to Carrow's"
                        I too have a special place in my heart for Ojai Frostie. I remember going there for milkshakes during breaks on Driver's Education. Ahhh...memories.

                        1. We've gone to Ojai twice a year for the past few years and have tried many of these restaurants - but by far, the best experience we've had was at Bodees. It's a couple of miles off the main drag but has a wonderful view and great food.


                          1. how about the food at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: food_natzi

                              Maravilla at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is excellent, though not cheap. I think it's the best place around.

                            2. One of my true 'hound loves is Johnny's Mexican Food on Ventura Ave. Hole in the wall, but they make one of the better chile relleno burritos in the universe. Their chile verde is to die for. When we're planning a trip up or down the 101, we always time our departure to allow a meal there, usually on the way home so we can pick up half a dozen burritos and freeze 'em.

                              1. I tried to go to Auberge the weekend, but I couldn't find it. Maybe my next trip up in December

                                1. In Ventura, don't miss Pete's for breakfast. There can be a line but it's worth it. We like the huevos rancheros and the coffee.

                                  And if you're in Ventura for dinner, Nona's on California at least has a nice garden patio.

                                  And Meridian's Cafe near the beach is quite good.

                                  Watch out for Ojai restaurants being closed, I think on Monday nights, but also early by LA standards the rest of the time. The advantage Ventura has over Ojai is that the restaurants tend to serve past 9.

                                    1. Ventura:
                                      I've had two very good dinners at Brooks on Thompson in the last few weeks. The last meal was the tasting menu. I strongly recommend this place.

                                      Tipp's Thai and the Thai/Peruvian restaurant have typical Thai fare. Cholada Thai has some dishes you don't normally see. I find Peruvian food kind of bland, unless you add the "green sauce" they have as a condiment. All of these restaurants are downtown on Main.

                                      Bariloche's emapandas are "heavy" in my view, more like English pasties than the real deal.

                                      I like Jonnathan's. The have updated their menu recently. They are downtown on Main.

                                      I've had some good lunches at The Sidecar Restaurant and have been meaning to go back for dinner. They are located midtown on Main.

                                      By the way, if you can't find parking on the street downtown, which is free, there are free parking lots all over downtown off of Main. Just follow the signs.