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Jan 20, 2013 08:12 PM

Ventura/Camarillo Trip Report

Slim pickings in the restaurant department - SoupPlantation was the best we could find one day.

Tried Safire, a Zagat rated bistro in eastern Camarillo. The place was deserted on a Sunday night but our waiter still had a hard time finding our table (water glasses went dry) and I am pretty sure my gnocchi sat under a hot lamp (oil was separating from the sauce) because he forgot to bring us the food. The side dish was fried spinach which was interesting for a couple of bites but too greasy and salty to eat much more - I would have rather had had steamed or sauted spinach.
My son enjoyed the children's grilled cheese and fries.

We were seated next to the front desk and watched (and heard) the staff spending much of their time gossiping.

Given how few good restaurants there are here, I would probably give Safire another chance - or drive to Santa Barbara for good food.

Allison's is a basic all-American diner (margarine not butter, big portions) in Ventura that was fine for breakfast. The staff was very nice - actually most of the restaurants we visited had helpful and friendly staff.

Hope this helps anyone visiting the area!

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  1. I just saw a breakfast/lunch diner-type place in Ventura profiled on Diners Drive-ins and Dives, though I don't know if it was a new show or one of the multitudes of repeats. I seem to recall a one-syllable male name title, though I could be mistaken. Looked really good on the show, though they all do...

    3 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        Yes, Pete's is the one I saw. A shame that their website commits the cardinal sin -- no prices on their menus.

      2. re: nosh

        We just watched one yesterday rave about a place called "the kitchen", but it was in Oxnard. Don't know if this was the place you saw as well? Seemed to be in the busy center of town......

      3. Too bad you didn't try the Jolly Oyster in Ventura at the San Buenaventura State Beach or the Outstanding Fisherman's Catch in Oxnard. I will drive to those two places just to eat there.

        1. I suggest Maria Bonita, on Main St. in Ventura -- diagonally across Main from the mission. Great moles, and great everything else as well.

          1. Just wanted to update our review on eating in Camarilo. We found a GREAT gourmet pizza place, Bianco Rosso; take the 'Lewis' exit to Arneil, turn left into the first shopping mall (Ponderosa Shopping Mall) and it is on the right side of the center.

            Light, delicious, and very fresh - like real Italian pizza. Favorite is the Corsica - a white pizza with a different types of mushrooms - really wonderful.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ekt_now

              Somebody forgot to metion Mrs Olsens almost right at the beach. It is so casual that you can dine in shorts and with sand on your feet. The place is very busy on weekends btw.
              no website but Yelp has a listing.

              117 Los Altos St
              (805) 985-9151

            2. In the past, I've enjoyed Moqueca in Oxnard for Brazilian seafood stews: