0915 F&D Photo by: Silva & Silva Photography
Surfer Mark Pickering likes it shaken, not stirred, at W2O Rooftop Lounge.

Best of Food & Drinks

   

09/15/2011

Bakery

1st Place
The Royal Bakery
4726 Telephone Rd., Ventura
658-6030

2nd Place
Bread Basket
83 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
482-1337

3rd Place
My Florist
76 S. Oak St., Ventura
653-0003

Barbecue

1st Place
wood ranch BBQ & grill
3449 E. Main St., Ventura
620-4500

1101 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
482-1202

540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark
523-7253

2nd Place
marshall’s bodacious BBQ
6353 Ventura Blvd., Suite 18, Ventura
640-0650

3rd Place
Just bbq
2950 Johnson Dr., Suite 133., Ventura
641-0680

Barista

1st Place
Tiffany @ PETITE RÊVE CAFE
1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
641-1581

2nd Place
Jennifer Wheir @ Palermo
321 E Main St., Ventura
643-3070

3rd Place
Michelle @ Caffrodite espresso bar and café
1876 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6005

Bloody Mary

1st Place
Brophy bros. Restaurant & clam bar
1559 Spinnaker Dr., Ventura
639-0865

2nd Place
the Sportsman restaurant
53 S. California St., Ventura
643-2851

4426 Central Ave., Camarillo
983-8668

3rd Place
Eric ericsson’s, on the pier
668 Harbor Blvd., Ventura
643-4783

Buffet

1st Place
Taj Café
574 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1521

2nd Place
Golden China Restaurant
760 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
652-0688

3rd Place
Yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2700

86 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
389-9922

1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard
985-1340

590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley
306-9933

EDITOR’S PICKS

Best post party grub

Bombay Bar and Grill’s late Night taco stand
143 S. California St., Ventura 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Late-night eating is a dangerous business. If you’re gonna add on a few pounds and most likely contribute to the already rough morning ahead, it better be worth it. Long lines at fast food drive-through windows or crowded breakfast joints with obnoxiously drunken patrons are almost never worth the culinary results. Lucky for those in the know, one place keeps it cheap and delicious.

2This beacon of late-night grubbery has no sign, no address and no official name, for that matter. But every Friday and Saturday night, the hungry and often inebriated masses flock to it nonetheless. In the back of the Bombay Bar and Grill in downtown Ventura, while bands and DJs rage on and patrons dance and drink the night away, a couple works furiously over a grill, churning out some of the best tacos and burritos this town has ever tasted.

Though it’s technically in a bar, the operation is independent of the Bombay’s usual kitchen and cooks. In an almost feel-good story, Mariano Monter, Bombay’s long-time maintenance man, would always bring him and his wife Mayra’s delicious tacos and burritos to Bombay’s annual Christmas Party. Seeing their popularity every year, Bombay’s-on-the-ball owners put two and two together and invited the Monters to sell their grub to the late-night crowd at Bombay. That was two years ago; and since then, their homemade, simple recipes have developed a legitimate cult following that goes beyond Bombay’s regular customers. With the club’s recent decision to lift any cover charge on Friday and Saturday nights, the taco-hungry throngs who often come in just to grab grub have only increased. A favorite of musicians, who used to eat post show, almost exclusively at In-N-Out, now often leave the venue where they’re playing early to grab grub at Bombay.

As for the menu, it’s simple. Carne asada street tacos on corn tortillas served in any size order or a carne asada burrito with beans, rice and cheese. Hot sauce, onion and sour cream can be added and, of course, veggies can opt for the above minus the meat. It may not seem like much but the result is pure perfection and the price (for around $5 or $6 you’ll be stuffed) cannot be beat. Throw in the fact the Monters are super friendly and after a few visits they’ll know your order, and this final stop on a booze cruise is just made that much more appealing.

— Chris Jay

Burrito

1st Place
Corrales mexican food
795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-1043

1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-6138

2nd Place
El Taco de Mexico
3114 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
642-9409

3rd Place
Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill
1876 E. Main St., Ventura
653-7276

214 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai
640-1301

11420 N. Ventura Ave., Ojai
649-2222

Business lunch

1st Place
CafE Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

2nd Place
fresh & Fabulous CafE
401 S. A St., Oxnard
486-4547

3rd Place
CafE Zack
1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-9445

Breakfast

1st Place
Eggs ‘n’ Things
4020 E. Main St., Ventura
642-3190

92 Daily Dr., Camarillo
987-4497

1103 Maricopa & 33 Highway, Ojai
646-5346

2955 Cochran St., Simi Valley
527-0055

1542 Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks
497-1711

2nd Place
Allison’s Country CafE
3429 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
644-9072

3rd Place
Pete’s Breakfast House
2055 E. Main St., Ventura
648-1130

Caterer

1st Place
Dj’s california catering
2784 Johnson Dr., Ventura
850-0194

2nd Place
main course california
1363 Donlon St., Suite 11, Ventura
658-8900

3rd Place
Danny’s deli & grill
3263 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
289-9200

Cheap eats

1st Place
Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company
806 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-8226

2nd Place
Corrales mexican food
795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-1043

1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-6138

3rd Place
Nature’s grill
566 E. Main St., Ventura
643-7855

Chinese

1st Place
Golden China
760 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
652-0688

2nd Place
Mandarin House
4020 E. Main St., Ventura
654-0933

3rd Place
Chester’s Asia Chnese restaurant
2216 Pickwick Dr., Camarillo
482-6564

Coffee house

1st Place
Palermo
321 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3070

2nd Place
Simone’s Coffee & Tea
7818 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
659-0860

3rd Place
element coffee
2364 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
482-0036

Cupcake

1st Place
Sugar Bear’s Cupcake Shack
451 E. Main St., Suite 8, Ventura
641-9944

2nd Place
Savory Café & Bakery
419 E. Main St., Ventura
652-7092

3rd Place
missy’s cupcake creations
missyscupcakecreations.com
766-4852

Dessert

1st Place
Bread Basket
83 E. Daily Drive, Camarillo
482-1337

2nd Place
The Royal Bakery
4726 Telephone Rd., Ventura
658-6030

3rd Place
Petite reve cafe
1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
641-1581

Diner

1st Place
Busy Bee Cafe
478 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4864

2nd Place
Danny’s Deli & Grill
3263 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
289-9200

3rd Place
Vagabond Inn
760 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-1390

Donut shop

1st Place
Rolling Pin Donuts
2153 Las Posas Rd., Camarillo
482-8711

1725 S. Victoria Ave., Suite A, Ventura
642-8398

EDITOR’S PICKS

Best late-late-night happy hour

Gotetsu

2098 E. Main St., Ventura. Open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday

It was 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night when we first discovered Gotetsu, the best new restaurant this side of the Conejo Grade. After working all day, going for a surf, cleaning up around the house and then opening the fridge to discover absolutely nothing inside of it, my roommate and I hit the streets looking for something to fill our empty bellies. But in Ventura, finding decent late night eats is like pulling King Arthur’s sword from a stone. Desperation was upon us.

3We would not eat pizza again. In times like these, you dig deep, and at last, I found gold. I remembered hearing about a new restaurant on Main Street across from Ventura High School, a Japanese skewer and sake joint that had a happy hour from 9 to 11 p.m. Could there be such a glorious place? Were the hunger pangs causing delirium?

We sought it out immediately, and there it was, Gotetsu: kushiyaki and sake house.

We walked in and it was like being at home, but way cooler. AC/DC was wailing from the speakers, patrons were ecstatic while feasting on sticks of meat and vegetables and swilling Sapporo draft beers, sake and plum wine. The owner/chef, Yukari Watanabe, explained that it was happy hour every night from 9 to 11 p.m. (except when closed on Sundays) and the draft beer, sake and wine are $3 during this time. Suffice it to say, I’m a regular now.

In Japan, Watanabe explained, kushiyaki (skewer grilled) is incredibly common, more so than sushi. But here in the States, kushiyaki is just now trending in metropolitan areas. “In Los Angeles, everyone knows about this,” said Watanabe, who has been working in Japanese restaurants in Los Angeles during the past 15 years. “But here in Ventura, many people don’t know yet, which is why I wanted to open this restaurant.”

Now in its 10th month since officially opening, Gotetsu’s menu has various chicken, beef and vegetable skewer options, Japanese salads, curry, handmade gyoza and specials that rotate weekly. The restaurant has occupancy of only 14, which lends to its intimacy and charm. But word is spreading fast about Gotetsu, so reservations are encouraged. Watanabe said that she has been contacted by the producers of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives about featuring the Ventura kushiyaki restaurant. GOTETSU!

Note: Gotetsu does not serve sushi

— Shane Cohn

Farmer’s market

1st Place
Downtown Ventura

2nd Place
Channel Islands Harbor  

3rd Place
Ojai Farmers market Fast food

Fast food

1st Place
The Habit Burger Grill
1855 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
484-2950

1025 Broadbeck Ln., Newbury Park
375-9227

2350 Vineyard Ave., Oxnard
981-9919

2906 Tapo Canyon Rd., Simi Valley
527-4500

11 E. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks
494-1124

487 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
667-2065

4732 Telephone Rd., Ventura
676-1717

2nd Place
Corrales Mexican food
795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-1043

1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-6138

3rd Place
Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack
4850 Verdugo Way, Camarillo
384-0334

5100 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
642-5111

Fine dining

1st Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

2nd Place
cafe zack
1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
652-7070

3rd Place
Brooks
545 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
652-7070

Fish taco

1st Place
Spencer Makenzie’s Fish Company
806 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-8226

2nd Place
Snapper Jack’s Taco Shack
4850 Verdugo Way, Camarillo
384-0334

5100 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
642-5111

3rd Place
beach house tacos
668 Harbor Blvd., Ventura
648-3177

Hamburger

1st Place
The Habit Burger Grill
1855 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
484-2950

1025 Broadbeck Ln., Newbury Park
375-9227

2350 Vineyard Ave., Oxnard
981-9919

2906 Tapo Canyon Rd., Simi Valley
527-4500

11 E. Hillcrest Dr., Thousand Oaks
494-1124

487 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
667-2065

4732 Telephone Rd., Ventura
676-1717

2nd Place
winchester’s grill & saloon
632 E. Main St., Ventura
653-7446

3rd Place
Hook burger bistro
1811 N. Rose Ave., Oxnard
981-8636

Ice cream

1st Place
McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream & Yogurt
3241 E. Main St., Ventura
650-6410

2nd Place
Palermo
321 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3070

3rd Place
Coastal Cone
1583 Spinnaker Dr., Suite 104, Ventura
658-2837

Indian

1st Place
Taj Café
574 E. Main St., Ventura
652-1521

2nd Place
Bollywood indian cafe
500 E. Main St., Ventura
648-2533

3rd Place
The Curry Leaf
5253 Mission Oaks Blvd, Camarillo
482-8880

Italian

1st Place
Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant
2788 E. Main St., Ventura
648-7270

2nd Place
Cafe Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

3rd Place
Capriccio
298 E. Main St., Ventura
643-7115

Kid- friendly

1st Place
Duke’s Griddle n’ Grill
1124 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
653-0707

2nd Place
Toppers Pizza place
385-4444

3940 E. Main St., Ventura
520 Arneil Rd., Camarillo

2701 Peninsula Rd., Oxnard

2100 Saviers Rd., Oxnard

111 E. Gonzales Rd., Oxnard

1416 N. Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks

2408 Erringer Rd., Simi Valley

3rd Place
Busy Bee Cafe
478 E. Main St., Ventura
643-4864

Late night eats

1st Place
Jimmy’s Slice
586 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6133

2nd Place
My Florist
76 S. Oak St., Ventura
653-0003

3rd Place
El Rey Cantina
294 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1111

Margarita

1st Place
yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2700

86 E. Daily Drive., Camarillo
389-9922

1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard
985-1340

2nd Place
casa de soria
1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-2083

3rd Place
El Rey Cantina
294 E. Main St., Ventura
653-1111

Martini  

1st Place
Cafe Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

2nd Place
watermark on main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

3rd Place
jonathon’s at peirano’s restaurant and j’s tapas
204 E. Main St., Ventura
648-4853

Mexican

1st Place
Yolanda’s
2753 E. Main St., Ventura
643-2700

86 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
389-9922

1601 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard
985-1340

590 E. Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley
306-9933

2nd Place
Casa de Soria
1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-2083

3rd Place
taqueria tepatitlan
362 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura
653-0508

New restaurant

(Open less than 12 months)
1st Place
lure fish house
259 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
388-5556

2nd Place
brendan’s irish pub & restaurant
1755  E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
383-4100

3rd Place
Bollywood indian cafe
500 E. Main St., Ventura
648-2533

Noodle House

1st Place
Mai’s Cafe Aloha
1967 E. Main St., Ventura
652-2061

2nd Place
Ozeki Noodle
349 W. Esplanade Dr., Oxnard
604-4485

3rd Place
Toki restaurant
2850 Johnson Dr., Suite E, Ventura
644-8654

Outdoor dining

1st Place
CAFÉ NOUVEAU
1497 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-1422

2nd Place
Tutti’s off main
34 N. Palm St., Ventura
643-0880

3rd Place
boccali’s restaurant
3277 Santa Paula Rd., Ojai
646-6116

PIZZA

1st Place
Topper’s Pizza
385-4444
3940 E. Main St., Ventura

520 Arneil Rd., Camarillo

2701 Peninsula Rd., Oxnard

2100 Saviers Rd., Oxnard

111 E. Gonzales Rd., Oxnard

1416 N. Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks

2408 Erringer Rd., Simi Valley

2nd Place
Jimmy’s Slice
586 E. Main St., Ventura
648-6133

3rd Place
Pizza chief
7770 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
647-8888

1612 E Main St., Ventura
648-1877

2550 E. Vineyard Ave., Suite 160, Oxnard
485-2966

Restaurant

1st Place
Cafe Zack
1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-9445

2nd Place
wood ranch BBQ & grill
3449 E. Main St., Ventura
620-4500

1101 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
482-1202

540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark
523-7253

3rd Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

Romantic restaurant

1st Place
Cafe Fiore
66 S. California St., Ventura
653-1266

2nd Place
Watermark On Main
598 E. Main St., Ventura
643-6800

3rd Place
Cafe Zack
1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-9445

Sandwich

1st Place
Urbane Café
4960 Telephone Rd., Ventura
654-1619

2nd Place
Danny’s Deli
3263 Telegraph Road, Ventura
289-9200

3rd Place
shamsi’s deli
2705 E, Thompson Blvd., Suite B, Ventura
643-6611

Seafood

1st Place
Andria’s Seafood Restaurant
& Fish Market
1449 Spinnaker Dr., Suite A, Ventura
654-0546

2nd Place
Brophy Brothers
1559 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura
639-0865

3rd Place
lure fish house
259 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
388-55562

Service

1st Place
danny’s deli & Grill
3263 Telegraph Rd., Ventura
289-9200

2nd Place
Cafe Zack
1095 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-9445

TIE
3rd Place
lure fish house
259 W. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo
388-55562

Dargan’s irish pub & restaurant
593 E. Main St., Ventura
648-3001

Smoothie

1st Place
Blenders in the Grass
607 E. Main St., Suite B, Ventura
641-0916

488 S. Mills Rd., Ventura
642-4557

2508 Los Posas Rd., Camarillo
482-4507

2nd Place
Mary’s Secret Garden
100 S. Fir St., Ventura
641-FOOD

3rd Place
Nature’s Grill  566 E. Main St., Ventura
643-7855

Steakhouse

1st Place
Aloha Steakhouse
364 S. California St., Ventura
652-1799

2nd Place
Wood Ranch bbq & grill
1101 E. Daily Dr., Camarillo
482-1202

3449 E. Main St., Ventura
620-4500

540 New Los Angeles Ave., Moorpark
523-7253

3rd Place
Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
2009 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
652-1055

Sunday brunch

1st Place
Joannifina’s mexican cafe
1127 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
652-0360

2nd Place
Café Nouveau
1497 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-1422

3rd Place
Capistrano’s Restaurant & Catering 2101 Mandalay Beach Rd., Oxnard
984-4269

Sushi

1st Place
I Love Sushi
5722 Telephone Rd., Ventura
639-4009

2nd Place
Sushi Marina
120 S. California St., Ventura
643-5200

3rd Place
O-Sabi Restaurant
5795 Walker St., Ventura
642-6200

Tamales

1st Place
Joannifina’s mexican cafe
1127 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura
652-0360

2nd Place
Corrales Mexican food
795 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-1043

1951 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
643-6138

TIE
3rd Place
Farmers Market
Downtown Ventura

Casa De Soria
1961 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura
648-2083

Thai

1st Place
Tipp’s Thai
512 E. Main St., Ventura
643-3040

2nd Place
RICE Thai Cuisine
387 E. Main St., Ventura
641-3573

3rd Place
Sawasdee Thai Cuisine
2887 Johnson Dr., Ventura
642-8879

Vegetarian

1st Place
Nature’s grill
566 E. Main St., Ventura
643-7855

2nd Place
Mary’s Secret Garden
100 Fir St., Ventura
641-3663

3rd Place
hip, a vegetarian joint
928 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
646-1750

Wine tasting

1st Place
Paradise Pantry
677 E. Main St., Ventura
641-9440

2nd Place
The Cave at the Ventura Wine Co.
4435 McGrath St., Suite 301, Ventura
642-9449

3rd Place
The Wine Rack
14 S. California St., Ventura
653-9463

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Comments

What!? There's an <a href="http://www.saffronnewburypark.com/">indian food ventura county</a> is missing on this list! It's called Saffron Newbury Park. Excellent Naan and Samosa. I would definitely go there again.

posted by evelyngermaine43 on 4/02/12 @ 11:50 a.m.
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