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Mar 22, 2006 10:46 PM

Are there no good eats in Ventura County?

  • t

I am looking for anything West of Thousand Oaks - Camarillo, Oxnard, Ventura. There are slim postings on the site...come on ChowHounders post your recommendations!

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  1. So am I, I hope we get some responses, although in the past I got the impression people there don't have computers :)

    9 Replies
    1. re: malibumike

      hey, i gots one...;).

      Ya might try the new resto, Tierra del sur i believe, at the herzog wine cellars in oxnard. Met with the chef before moving back to LA and perused the menus-have not eaten there but looked like some good food-note its a kosher kitchen but you wouldn't notice it unless looking for it.

      Other than that, there ain't too much fine food in the area-i cooked up there for 8 or so years and know, worked, or been in most establshments in the region.

      1. re: dkd

        Guys try California Grill off Las Posas, east of the FWY in a strip mall type of shopping center. Recommended by Elmer Dills so you know it's gotta be good. Been there & I like it. They even have early bird specials for dinner, good wine list. Google it not sure if they have a web site.

        1. re: Ollie

          Ditto. Great place. I take any dates worth it and any visiting family and friends there.

        2. re: dkd

          i ate at Tierra Sur a couple of weeks ago.
          it was simply fabulous in every way.

        3. re: malibumike

          Here's my list:

          Sawadee Thai. Good, but even better if you talk to the owner. She will work with you especially if she realizes you care about food.

          Yolie's. Order-at-the-counter Mexican with a good salsa bar - usually about 6 types. Not fabulous, but good enough.

          Azucar Cuban/Puerto Rican. I fear for this place's future, but in the mean time they produce some tasty, but fat-filled meals. I love the plantains. A very meat-heavy menu so I haven't tried a lot of their food.

          Chai Thai. In a weird little strip mall way down on Saviers Roads. This is very good Thai food, I think the best in the county.

          Taqueria Tepatitlan on Ventura Ave. A really, really good Mexican sit-down family place. It gets so dang crowded but worth the wait. Low prices, authentic food, daily specials.

          Taqueria Vallarta downtown on Main Street. Order at the counter. Autentica comida Mexicana, including licuados (milky fruit shakes), a rare treat. Grungy and popular.

          J's Tapas downtown on Main across from the Mission. Only eaten there once, but everything was super tasty. Easy to drop a lot of cash on, because portions are small and when the wine and conversation starts...well...And they share a kitchen with Jonathan's Restaurant, so I suspect Jonathan's is good for a nice dinner.

          Andria's Seafood at Ventura Harbor. Mom and Dad swear by the bread-bowl chowder. The line is a mile long on weekends. People seem to like it a lot. Don't ask me - I'm a vegetarian.

          Speaking of vegetarian, the liquor store across from Community memorial hospital on Loma Vista has a vegan deli. 2 vegan soups a day, salads, sandwiches. Go figure. Only open til 4.

          Mai's Vietnamese on Main near Borchard. Also Hawaiian food. It isn't Orange County Vietnamese, but it is good when you're dying for some Pho or Banh Mi. They have vegetarian versions, too.

          And you won't believe this, but I have come to love the sort of run down old-style diner Main Street Grill on Main down by the Pacific View Mall. It is an old Loops Diner with the big red leatherette booths and about 40 seats at the counter. It is family run and pretty basic. Dessert with every meal, your choice of apple crisp, bread pudding or I think Jello.

          Shamsi Deli on Thompson and Borchard. A wacky mix of Middle Eastern, Italian and Argentinian. I didn't like their middle eastern much, but their empanadas were good and they have a good grocery selection from those 3 cuisines.

          1. re: Snackish

            I should clarify that I don't like Main St. Diner for food as much as the run-down diner ambiance.

            1. re: Snackish

              I agree with what you said about Mai's Noodles, both with regards to the quality and the vegetarian-friendliness. I've had several good meals there.

              Onzeki Noodles (soba/udon/ramen, in the huge Oxnard shopping center you see from the 101) is also recommendable.

              1. re: Snackish

                I would update my list -

                Azucar Cafe, sadly, is closed for good, and the Curry Leaf, an Indian place that replaced it isn't, IMO, very good.

                My favorite Camarillo Thai has become Charn, hands down. Sawadee's service and food are both inconsistent, while Charn is always good.

                A new entry I really like is Moqueca, in the Channel Islands Harbor area. Their food is interesting and delicious. Would be a great spot for a nice date with the view of the harbor.

                I still eat at Mai's because of its proximity, but I agree with those who say to head over to Oxnard/Port Hueneme to Pho Saigon on Ventura Road. Always busy and really tasty food.

              2. re: malibumike

                Funny you say that because I have gotten the same impression time and again when I meet anyone from north of Hollywood proper--to this very day. I don't doubt there are some good restaurants in Ventura county it's just I don't think Venturians(?) are a very net connected people, or as computer saavy as folks in other areas LA local, to make recs online. Not a putdown just an observation. I'm in SGV by the way, but people in SGV(hello kid programmers in my high school ?!? years ago and wasn't even one of the affluent neighborhoods in the SGV, and programming classes weren't offered at all then.) , Orange County and even South Bay(arguably) always seem to be more in the know about computers than Ventura county residents. To be fair though they do have more open space and fields (and relatively clear air when compared to the LA basin) though a bit ironic tech wise since overall they are just as prosperous as anyone in the OC.

                1. re: Roph

                  I'll try anything! I'm guessing central/southern american food will be readily available around Camarillo and Oxnard - pupuserias, taquerias?? bout some good ol' breakfast joints by the beach? scandinavian cuisine would be interesting as well. something different.

                  speaking of breakfast joints...has anyone heard of Harold's House of Omelette in Thousand Oaks?

                  1. re: tenom dude

                    Harolds does a good, reliable, workmanlike American breakfast but they excel at the Mexican side of the menu. Good chilaquiles, chorizo and egg, and Mexican dinners.

                2. There is a really good Provincial French Restaurant in Thousand Oaks called Cafe Provincial. It has a great ambiance inside, and really great food. It is owner operated, and located in a really unlikely strip mall right next to that monstrosity known as "the lakes".

                  2310 E Thousand Oaks Blvd,
                  Thousand Oaks

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: MellyCooks

                    I second Provincial! Amazing food, prepared with care and local friendly proprietor. Can't beat that. They also do special set menus for holidays, tour de France, bastille day etc.

                    1. re: mellycooks

                      It is actually Cafe Provencal, in case anyone is searching for it.

                  2. Tutti's Off Main in Ventura.

                    34 N. Palm, Ventura
                    Phone: (805) 643-0880
                    Cuisine: Bakery, Italian

                    They have a good wine list, good baked goods & both indoor and outdoor seating. I have only been for dinner, but I have heard their breakfast is very good. I would be happy to have a restaurant like this near me in L.A. ...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Eastsider

                      I like this place too. Nothing earth shattering, but reliably good food and service.

                    2. We were just on vacation in that area and we had a great dinner at Suzanne's Cuisine in Ojai. Apparently she's been called the Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) of Ventura County. Food is super-fresh and service is warm but unobtrusive. Atmosphere is pleasant -- we ate inside but there's a big covered garden area that looks quite pretty.


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Wendy-san

                        Whoever called her the Alice Waters of Ventura County has either never eaten at Chez Panisse or sets a low bar for Ventura food. I've been to Suzanne's a couple of times and found poorly prepared dishes and amateur service. On one occasion, I ate only a couple of bites of my roast pork, because it was so dry and tasteless, and the waitress took away the plate without even asking why I didn't eat. I described why on the back of my check (and left a meager tip). My last visit was probably five years ago, so I guess it's possible they've improved, but I doubt it. Even back then people were raving about this dubious culinary outpost in the Ojai Valley, so something else is going on about the place. What, I have no idea.

                        1. re: Harry Nile

                          Hilarious post by Harry Nile re Suzanne's but he's right on the money, at least as of fall 2009.