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Mar 9, 2008 10:05 AM

Driving to Monetcito from LA-Lunch Recs?


I am driving from LA to Montesito for a few nights at the San Ysidro Ranch. Google Maps suggests I take the 101, however I am sure it would be nicer to do the PCH, and stop for a nice lunch along the way. Any recommendations, there are no price restrictions, but casual good food is always fun.

PS. I am not from Cali...

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  1. By all means take Highway One - it is not that much longer. There are a number of restaurants in the Malibu corridor to explore - check out the Los Angeles board for updated info. Santa Monica is also worthy of a restaurant stop.

    Another charming alternate route is take Interstate 5 north out of Los Angeles up to Santa Clarita and then west Highway 126 across the Santa Paula "Heritage" Valley because it remains a very buccolic interlude traversing green citrus forests - the Citrus Capital of the World, and poke around some of the smaller back roads in this area where you can still find some historic little towns only a few miles from all the craziness of Los Angeles. Hozy's in Santa Paula is a surprise restaurant to find or the historic Glen Tavern - again, you need to explore the Los Angeles board for more information.

    A nice stop for lunch shortly before you get to Santa Barbara is The Shoals ocean side restaurant in the Cliff House Hotel on Highway 101 - food is only okay, salads sandwiches and things, you can't go wrong if you don't expect find dining, but the view and the feeling on a warm sunny day can't be beat at this water front, palm fringed poolside location.

    1. The food won't win any awards, but we recently did the same drive and enjoyed a stop at Neptune's Net - at the very top of the Malibu corridor. If we'd had time, we would have stopped at the Malibu Country Mart.

      Another option is a stop at the Getty Museum, which has a nice cafe. We weren't read for lunch yet when we stopped there, but we thought about it. You have to make a reservation to get in, but you shouldn't have any trouble.

      1. If the weather is nice, Tutti's Off Main (on Palm Street) in Ventura might be nice. They have a lovely courtyard patio and good food. Or Jonathan's at Peirano's right down the street on Main across from Old Mission Church.

        For truly authentic Mexican food in a place that feels like Mexico, La Gloria Supermarket and Restaurant in Oxnard near the train station is the real deal. I'm not a meat eater - I usually go there for nieves (ice milk or sorbet) or to pick up bales of tortillas - but if I ever get the craving for some pig nose, I'm heading over there.

        1. Must do dinner at San Ysidro.

          You might want to investigate the backroads of the area and go through Ventura to Ojai.

          The Ranch House.

          Suzanne's Cuisine

          Feast Bistro

          2 Replies
          1. re: santabarbarian

            I think I have decided to take th PCH all the way to Montecito. Any more reccomendations, for places along they that won't require much of a detour? I am fairly familiar with the retaurants in Malibu, so maybe something past there.

            And lastly, if a detour is a must please provide me with a basic detour time and directions.... Thanks.

            1. re: jwurz

              Main Street in Old Town Ventura near the Ventura Mission is loaded with interesting, small and locally owned restaurants. My favorite is Capriccio (Italian) and is an easy on-off off Highway 101.

          2. San Ysidro Ranch is such a wonderful place and the restaurant is excellent.
            Friends rave about Chase on state for their calamari that was one of Julia Childs fav..
            Lucky's can be good but sometimes spotty on service and food..
            Stearns pier has the Harbor restaurant for some decent casual seafood..
            Neptune's Net on PCH in Malibu is always a classic..