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Aug 15, 2012 10:28 AM

Ojai: Picks and Pans

Brief report:

Betty Lu's - kind of a 50's type diner on main drag, very local, pretty good eggs benedict, short on the authentic hollandaise but good on the gooey and savory. Indifferently prepared hash browns.

Ojai Ice cream - standard flavors, nothing special

Burt's Bookstore - read and linger tea/coffee shop in delightful outdoor large used book store setting

Meditation Mount - tea shop at location of lovely, serene setting, lingering for views and contemplative pathways. Good place for the "Pink Moment" (see below)

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa - gorgeous outdoor terrace grill for breakfast, pricey but the view is free. Fresh squeezed orange juice, very good coffee. Close to heaven feeling.

SeaFresh: apparently a "chain" since it just opened and menu claims it was founded in 1987 in a town that eschews "chains" - formulaic food. Not recommended, but engaging outdoor patio for evening views of the "Pink Moment' when the Topa Topa mountains glow for a few minutes at sunset.

Bocalli's - it is fresh strawberry short cake time - real short-cake, not sponge cake, (August)

The Ranch House - Sunday brunch - always lovely setting but hot under the outdoor awnings, okay food, high prices. Go at least once for the over all effect and history; not the food.

Casa Ojai - complimentary "continental breakfast" pretty slim, some bagels and a toaster.

RAINS department store - good selection of cooking utensils and supplies

Giorgio's - dive sports bar, friendly management, basic bar grub, 22 beers on tap and lots of TV screens

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  1. still think of Boccali's when I see strawberry shortcake on a menu! here's a photo from our last visit to Bocalli's and Ojai. It's as good as it looks! It's big enough to share ....... if you decide you want to.

    2 Replies
    1. re: gordon wing

      The short cake is hot with a crispy-crunching sugar crust -- but who can see it under the pile of strawberries, right? As close to home made as home made - but with the ubiquitous squirt from a can when a dollop of the real cream thing would push it up a notch, esp if flavored with a bit of real vanilla bean ...just like home.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        the crispy-crunchy sugar crust gives the short cake another dimension - adding to a great dessert. the squirt from a can whipping cream is OK but you're right ...... soft, billowly whipped real cream with vanilla bean would be incredible!

    2. SeaFresh has been in Ojai for a very long time.
      They closed down for a complete remodel.

      But I agree it is not a place I would recommend.

      1. If you don't mind a small spelling correction:

        It's Bart's Bookstore.