PICTURED: Eggplant Parmesan sandwich with sides of green salad and antipasto. Photo by Dane Edmondson Boccali’s Pizza and Pasta 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, Ojai 805-646-6116 boccalis.com $4.95-18.95 If there’s one constant I’ve observed it’s that nostalgia sells. It can be that impulse buy of your favorite childhood candy at the supermarket checkout or a late-night shopping spree on stockx for some Air Jordan IVs. I, too, am a hapless fool when it comes to campy keepsakes of days past. So when I took in the decor at Boccali’s in Ojai it was like driving 88 mph in a certain...Read More
Author: Dane Edmondson
PICTURED: Sweet potato fries, Western burger and cucumber sour beer Photo by Dane Edmondson Finney’s Crafthouse and Kitchen 494 East Main St., Ventura 805-628-3312 $4-19 When I first settled in Ventura County, several of my newly made friends informed me that on Tuesday I could hit up downtown and take in a movie, mai tai and some tacos for roughly what a pint of Pabst Blue Ribbon costs in L.A. This “local day” extravaganza truly is a gem to experience, and now a tradition of mine. Until recently, I would meander along on my “pub crawl,” pass by the vacant building...Read More
Hip Vegan Cafe 201 N. Montgomery St., Ojai 805-669-6363 $3-15 I’m primarily vegan, a stance highly susceptible to churlish ridicule from both ends of the food-choice spectrum. I also believe in fair and equal representation, which is why I find it fundamentally flawed to review a restaurant while simultaneously adhering to dietary restrictions (barring catastrophic health risk, of course). How could you, as the reader, trust my words on the legitimacy of al pastor tacos or a tri-tip sandwich if I merely relied on the menu description or a neighboring-table glance to determine its merit? Thankfully this credence was...Read More
La Bodega Tapas Bar100 East El Roblar Dr., #104, Ojai805-798-9312labodegaojai.com$1.50-$13 The community of Meiners Oaks was historically known for its residential standing more so than its hangouts — with all due respect to the Deer Lodge and The Hut. But that has all changed in recent years, with several new staples sprouting up. The most recent addition to the bourgeoning scene is La Bodega Tapas Bar, an authenticated nod to the cultural aspects of Spain. Patatas bravas, a common treat in España, consisting of fried cubed potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce and rich contrasting aioli. Bombas, salmon-stuffed...Read More
Topa Topa Brewery345 E. Ojai Ave.Ojai$3-$16 Having spent a couple of weeks in Bali to celebrate my 30th birthday, I developed an affinity for the complex palate of Indonesian cuisine. The combination of multiple exotic spices creates a cross-pattern of flavor that is unique to the vast collection of islands. I was seduced by these amalgamations, and found myself longing for them well after I ventured back to the states. The only issue was that, for as many other Asian food factions that are readily accessible, Indonesian seems to be mostly unaccounted for. So one can imagine the excitement...Read More
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