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Birthday dinner in Ventura

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Looking for a suggestion for dinner for my birthday. Will be in Ventura for two weeks and am not at all familiar w/the area. Pretty open as to types of food, don't mind spending $100 or so for two people, but don't want to break the bank. I tried to do a search for Ventura on the board, but so many of the results were mentioning Ventura Blvd., not the actual town itself.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Jonathan's at Peirano's in downtown Ventura serves the best paella I have had in southern California, along with an excellent Mediterranean menu and a tapas bar next door. Avoid 71 Palm at all costs!

    The Ranch House in Ojai (15 miles inland from Ventura) is one of my favorite day-trip restaurants. Wonderful food in a gorgeous setting. (Be sure to print out a map -- it can be hard to find especially after dark).

    Here's an extensive thread on Ventura County eats (note that the posts are strung out over a year-and-a-half ... be sure to call ahead to check on some of the older recs)

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/80023

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    Ranch House
    500 W Lomita Ave, Ojai, CA 93023

    J's Tapas
    204-208 E Main Street, Ventura, CA 93001

    1. I know it is kind of off most people's radar, but I love Mary's Secret Garden vegan cafe - they really care about food and everything I have had there is tasty.

      For more mainstream fare, try Tutti's on Palm St. They have a lovely romantic patio.

      I also like Jonathan's. Very good food.