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Camarillo/Oxnard Area Dinner Recs

I'm heading out to the outlets on Friday and my friends will be heading out to Port Hueneme Oxnard. Any good restaurants close to Camarillo or in Oxnard? The criterias are below.

1) No Chinese, as I don't trust Chinese in the Valley.
2) No Thai. I don't like Thai.
3) Japanese is okay, but it should not be too overpriced (around $30-40 per person max).
4) I prefer American, steak, or fusion.
5) Good food
6) Not too expensive (i.e. $20-$30 tops for an entree, prefer under $20).

Does such a place exist? Or, should I stick with Souplanatation or the Woodland Hills area?

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  1. There is actually one good Chinese restaurant in Camarillo, Peking Inn, 330 N. Lantana, fairly convenient to the outlet mall. I believe they have dim sum at lunch. As you may know there is a decent sized Chinese population in Thousand Oaks due to the fact that a lot of Chinese work at Amgen. However there is no decent Chinese food in Thousand Oaks (or Westlake Village or Oak Park or Agoura). Apparently, the Thousand Oaks Chinese all go over the hill to Peking Inn when they want authentic Chinese food.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chandavkl

      Since I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley area, nothing in the Valley is even close. So, I just stay away from it until I head to San Gabriel.

      Any other recs?

      1. re: Chandavkl

        I also live in TO and decided to try out the Peking Inn based on comments on this board. I have to say it is one of the best Chinese restaurants I have been to. They are also very accomodating. For instance I asked the hostess what dishes they had that included chicken and shrimp. She questioned me on how spicy I liked my food and whether I liked more vegetables or mostly the meat and fish. As a result they brought me a dish that wasn't on the menu that was essentually a huge platter of szechuan style chicken an shrimp with some scallions and no other vegetables. At around $13 this was an incredible bargain and tasted exquisite.

      2. La Paz in Calabasas(Yucantan style Mexican). Usually about $10 a head, without drinks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

          I love La Paz, they give you enormous amounts of food that is so tasty.
          Try the fish dishes they are fabulous.

        2. You don't mention seafood - there's a great seafood joint in the Ventura Harbor area, called Andria's. I mean it's a joint, but good honest food. Otherwise you could try the Whale's Tail in the Channel Islands Harbor - it's a rather pedestrian sort of place, but lovely setting. I believe they serve steak.

          1. How about California Grill or Safire? Are those in the price range above? Are they any good?

            2 Replies
            1. re: WHills

              I've been to California grill several times and it is consistantly good. If you go "early bird" (before 7 pm, I think) the prices are much lower - even alcohol is discounted.
              I've heard that Safire is good (haven't yet tried it). It's the same owners as California Grill. It is more expensive, however. Hope this helps for the next time you head up that way.

              1. re: WHills

                Both restaurants have great food, but Safire is a little pricey .
                THe food is always very good.

              2. There are some great restaurants in Ventura. Jonathons, The Sidecar, 71 Palms, Brooks, C street. Ventura is finally moving up in the Foodie world according to a recent article in a Food and Wine Article.

                4 Replies
                1. re: wannabechef

                  I'm interested in this thread because my parents live at the Channel Islands Harbor and it'd be great to learn about some dining options in the vicinity (we usually eat at home). There is the Old Vienna in Ventura - probably a fossil by now but I like a good schnitzel: http://www.oldviennarestaurant.com/. If you wish to cruise up the coast (and it is a stunning stretch of 101) to Mussel Shoals about 10 miles north of Ventura, the Shoals restaurant at the Cliff House Inn is in a breathtaking location literally on the cliff - gorgeous sunsets - and "American." They do serve a rib-eye steak and some chicken and pasta, I believe, but my being a seafoodie, I can definitely vouch for the seafood.

                  1. re: Vikzen

                    I eat at Old Vienna once a week (Wednesday evenings if you want to say Guten Abend) and it is far from a fossil.

                    1. re: SwissMiss

                      That's good news! I haven't been to Old Vienna in so long I was concerned my recommendation might be outdated! What are your favorites there?

                    2. re: Vikzen

                      Restaurant Brooks is a little far from the Camarrillo/Oxnard area originally started in this thread, but if you are in Ventura or don't mind a little drive (as you said, it's stunning) Restaurant Brooks is worth it. They offer a great tasting menu (w/ or w/o wine), and everything on their menu is yummy, esp. the foie gras and the Lobster Sope. It's a classy little joint with a laid back atmosphere and a good bar, definitely worth it.

                  2. Stella's in Newbury Park. We love this place and always go there when we're in the area. Everything we've had there has been great! Stella's is a 2385 Michael Drive, Newbury Park. It's in a shopping center. Enjoy!


                    1. I haven't been in ages, but I had a good lamb sandwich at Sheila's Wine Bar in Camarillo once. They had a large santa barbara centered wine list with a pretty reasonable mark up.


                      1. I've been having to go to that area for the past 5 years to visit the in-laws and i swear the most consistent places for dinner are the Soup Plantation and Woodranch BBQ in Camarillo.

                        There's an excellent seafood place in the Channel Islands Harbor Fisherman's Wharf named HC Seafood, but i think they close at 6.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: holybull

                          So HC Seafood is not the one that burned down? (Or closed down?) There was an upstairs place that had an excellent California Roll concoction rolled in fried garlic!

                          1. re: Vikzen

                            HC Seafood is on the other side of the channel from the restaurant that burned down. It is a find to be treasured, though it is not really a restaurant.
                            The restaurant that burned down was previously called Tugs. I don't remember what it was called most recently. Under any name is was the best full-scale seafood restaurant on the peninsula, and I'm hoping it will be good when it reopens.
                            In the meantime, there is HC Seafood. It is absolutely wonderful for what it is, and what it is is limited. It is an open air fish store with live seafood tanks and picnic tables. That means you go the look at what they have, order it, find a table (not usually a problem) and wait for them to call your order. If you're from the East Coast, think of it as a lobster pound with a few more options on the menu.
                            They will steam or broil anything in the tank. We usually get steamed Dungeness crab, steamed and broiled Santa Barbara Spot prawns, and grilled cod,They also deep fry stuff, but I haven't tried it. About half the tables have people eating deep-fried stuff, so I assume it's pretty good.
                            Beyond the grilled or steamed seafood, I haven't had any luck. The New England clam chowder resembles library paste. Corn is mediocre. After that I gave up.
                            On the brighter side, The seafood I have mentioned is really, really good, and there is a mexican/BBQ place next door that will work for people who want something other than pure seafood.
                            And don't tell anyone it was me who told you, but there is also a convenience mart a few doors down that sells beer, wine, etc. There are signs prohibiting alcohol around HC, but that is why brown bags were invented, and I have never seen it enforced (THIS IS A GOOD THING!).
                            I also see people bringing their own sides to eat with the seafood.

                        2. The SideCar restaurant is outstanding. The chef focuses on locally grown produce, so you can imagine how good the ingredients are. I've been there a couple times for Slow Food events and both times the food was really good and the prices were reasonable. He's also got a nice wine list. The food is American -- think salmon fillets, lamb, risotto, some comfort foods, etc. It was all very good.

                          1. Maria Bonita, in Ventura -- diagonally across the street from the Sta. Buenaventura mission. Wonderful riffs on Mexican regional cooking, and not in the least expensive.

                            1. My Aunt and I had a very nice experience at the restaurant in Herzog Winery (just off 101 del norte) in Oxmard. Who knew? Check out their website for menu & info. http://www.herzogwinecellars.com/html...

                              3 Replies
                                  1. re: kajtf

                                    i absolutely concur.
                                    the food at tierra sur, the restaurant at the baron herzog winery, is fantastic and very well worth every penny.
                                    if tierra sur (with it's current prices) were any closer to where i live, it would definitely be on my regular rotation--great food and reasonable prices.

                              1. Ottavio's Restuarant is 1/2 mile from outlets @ 1620 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
                                (805)482-3810 (call for a fri/sat nite resrv.) They offer great Italian-American dinners
                                and yes (you get salad with dinner) for affordable prices. Long time family owned and
                                the best homemade Spamoni ice cream anywhere. Casual attire is fine. Just down the Blvd. is Bandits BBQ as well...

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chowright

                                  I second the recommendation for Ottavio's, although I haven't been in many, many years. I always stopped there on my way back from day trips to Santa Barbara. I would order garlic bread, Caesar salad, lasagna, and spumoni for dessert--as chowright said, it's the best spumoni. It was very good and reasonably priced.

                                2. I recently moved to Camarillo from West LA and have been struggling to find consistently good food in my new neighborhood. A lot of the restaurants in town try hard, but fall just short of the mark. For me, there's nothing worse than paying premium prices for a mediocre meal. That being said, I really like Fujiya -- an excellent sushi restaurant located next to Hollywood Video off Arneil. I'm a repeat customer and have never had a bad meal.

                                  I'd also recommend Yolanda's on Daily Drive and Mongolian BBQ on Ventura Blvd. in Old Town -- consistently good, but doesn't break new ground. I like Enoteca Toscana, also on Ventura Blvd. in Old Town, but can be inconsistent for the price.

                                  I've tried Ottavio's, California Grill, Safire, Aloha Steakhouse, Sheila's, D'Amore, Bella Cucina, Wood Ranch and Bandits -- my recommendation would be to drive to Ventura and get a better meal for your $.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: skidog

                                    If you are willing to make the drive to ventura harbor I've always loved Brophys for whatever occasion at any time of day or night.

                                    1. re: tooth

                                      As a newer Camarillo resident I have found the restaurants here inconsistent. Our family enjoys the chips and salsa, chile relleno burritos at Ola's, the chicken taquitos and bean taquitos at Bobbi's, the orange beef, sauteeed green beans at Peking Inn-ask to sit in Alan's section and he'll take care of you. Although my husband prefers Chester's Asia, which does have good pan fried chow mein. The Wok-n-South Mongolian BBQ is usually good unless the don't quickly refill the food containers or tidy them up. Bandit's is good only for their sweet potatoes and brisket, make sure to sit in a booth otherwise tables seem like second class there. Pizza at Topper's is nice because of their large salad bar. Presto Pasta has some appeal because one can get meatless meals during Lent.
                                      However skip Souplantation and Panda Express!! I have found Wood Ranch to have very dried out meat but that could be the times I go as I have heard from others like they really like it. The Bread Basket has the best chicken salad for lunch.

                                      1. re: BlueberryMuffin

                                        We tried Safire a little while ago and really enjoyed it.
                                        The food is good, but not spectacular. The setting is very nice and they have a little jazz group at the entry (by the bar) which is nice. We sat on the paito which was quieter but still nice. I have a feeling we need to go back and try other menu items. I had the pork chop and found it a little dry. My wife had a couple of sides which she really enjoyed.


                                        Safire Restaurant
                                        4850 Santa Rosa Rd, Camarillo, CA 93012

                                        (805) 389-1227

                                        1. re: BlueberryMuffin

                                          Bread Basket has the best cakes anywhere, Charn Thai, Cafe India, are very good food.

                                      2. re: skidog

                                        For excellent food why not try Charn Thai?
                                        Always great, and beats Yolanda's any day.

                                        1. re: Henna Caravan

                                          Masa Sushi in Camarillo, you won't be disapointed

                                      3. Charn's Thai food it fabulous,
                                        Bread Basket is amazing for baked goods, Bistro 13 for Italian, Safire and California Grill always great food.
                                        El Tecolote, new owner, good food.

                                        1. Moqueca, the Brazilian restaurant featuring seafood stew called moqueca from Espiritu Santo, Brasil is the culinary diamond in this area.Located in Oxnard.

                                          1. Eggs-N-Things (805) 987-4497
                                            92 E Daily Dr,
                                            Camarillo, CA

                                            I would come here for lunch and order chicken fried steak and eggs. It came with country gravy over the steak and hash browns. Eggs any style. Great hash browns