The Best Restaurants in Ojai, California

Solely 90 minutes north of Los Angeles by automobile and 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean, Ojai has lengthy been a go-to place for Angelenos to get away and recharge. The city is tucked right into a valley of the identical title, surrounded by mountain ranges. A sense of serenity permeates the primary avenue (Ojai Ave.) and the surrounding panorama is lush with citrus and avocado groves, wildflower fields, and mountaineering trails. In opposition to this stunning backdrop, a burgeoning restaurant scene has taken form, one which shows the open-heartedness and geniality for which the city is understood. Within the final yr alone, a flurry of inventive, heat, and downright scrumptious bakeries and eating places have opened their doorways to rejoice the bounty of a beautiful agricultural area.

For those who spend sufficient time in Ojai you’ll begin listening to about how its east-west orientation makes for a sort of ethereal power vortex (the vast majority of California’s mountains and valleys are configured north to south). It’s this geological positioning that causes the city’s well-known “pink second,” when simply earlier than sundown, the Topa Topa Mountains to the north radiate a luminescent shade of salmon. For these environmental causes, Ojai has attracted non secular leaders together with J. Krishnamurti, Aldous Huxley, Beatrice Wooden, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. However as a buddy who grew up right here instructed me, “Regardless of the non secular factor is, the Vortex is only a handy manner of wrapping all of it up in one concept.” Whether or not you’re non secular or not, you’ll don’t have any hassle understanding what makes Ojai so particular. Listed here are the can’t-miss spots, previous and new, for these visiting Ojai.

The Necessities:

  • Don’t neglect to pack… mountaineering sneakers, so you may hit the paths in Los Padres Nationwide Forest.
  • Don’t go away city with out… a growler of native Revel kombucha or a shirt from Rory’s Place to take dwelling.
  • The finest place to remain is… Ojai Rancho Inn. This revamped retro motel boasts ’50s ranch-style structure, a swimming pool for decent days (of which there are numerous), and firepits for cool evenings. Bonus factors for the complimentary bicycles to trip round city.
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E-book Your Keep on the Ojai Rancho Inn

Images by Yasara Gunawardena

First, a Bountiful Pastry Case (and Espresso)

Mornings at The Dutchess, one in every of Ojai’s newcomers, are heavenly. Cappuccinos fly by means of the house, youngsters devour chocolate croissants, and canines pant beneath the sidewalk tables. The solely potential stressor comes with deciding what to order from the bakery’s overflowing pastry case. You possibly can’t go mistaken with something pastry chef Kelsey Brito makes, however my suggestion is a sticky toffee date muffin and one thing with seasonal produce, like a ardour fruit danish or vegetable frittata. Get pleasure from your treats in one in every of The Dutchess’s a number of rooms or on the again patio shaded with hand-painted Burmese umbrellas. (At dinnertime, the restaurant transitions to an Indian-Burmese menu, and chef Noticed Naing serves puri with hen liver mousse, golden egg curry, and beef masala price coming again for.)

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