Author: Dane Edmondson

Sumptuous siesta

Agave Maria106 S. Montgomery St., Ojai805- 646-6353$3-$18 Walking into the courtyard entrance of Agave Maria in downtown Ojai one might feel as though they have been teleported to a part of Oaxaca. A serene water fountain sculpture welcomes guests to the terra-cotta tiled outdoor dining area, which is inviting for both summer and winter use due to several heat lamps. For those seeking a traditional indoor cantina experience, Agave Maria has your back as well. In addition there is a welcoming bar with about six seats of real estate to gaze upon the playoff games or wall of tequila,...

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Indulging in options at Tap’d

Tap’d Ventura 546 E. Main St. Ventura 805-667-8771 $6.95-$24.95 When I heard that space which housed Amigo’s Cantina, on Main St. in Ventura, was “Via con Dios,” I was curious what the next manifestation would bring. After months of much-needed remodeling the anticipation is over, and Tap’d, a cutting-edge craft beer and food establishment, has interactively brought new life to a prime downtown space. Conceptualized by Sean Ardoin and Robert Washington — with help from Melvin Nunnery and Mark Covarrubias — this tech-forward take on the tap house is a unique and progressive approach. Patrons wishing to imbibe need...

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Homeward Bound

Home Kitchen of Ojai 1103 Maricopa Hwy Ojai 805-646-5346 $3-$24 As a general rule of thumb, I tend to steer clear of restaurants in shopping centers. I know, it’s an obscure idiosyncrasy, but we all have them. Yet, I put my neuroses aside when I discovered a change in the Ojai Valley Shopping Center. Home Kitchen of Ojai, the new incarnation of the spot formerly occupied by Eggs N Things — a name I unfortunately could not not let my imagination run wild with — is dishing out comfort food with aspirations of carving out its own niche. Chicken...

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A turning of the Thai’d

OM Thai Cuisine 710 Ventura Ave. Oak View $5.99-17.99 805-649-9001 Tom Kha soup, a coconut milk-based broth with accents of lemongrass, kaffir lime and galangal.Inside OM Thai CuisinePad See Ew: wide pan-fried rice noodles tossed with red bell peppers, carrots, onions, basil and choice of meat.Green curry with a side of fluffy red rice: The velvety coconut milk dish was literally overflowing with personality, as a vegetable medley of eggplant, zucchini, bamboo shoots, carrots and tofu was piled high above the edge of the bowl.Sstir-fried eggplant with fried tofu, mushrooms, bamboo shoots and basilCrab rangoon: fresh crab and cream...

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Stop and smell The Mad Roses

The Mad Rose 543 E. Main St. Ventura 805-628-3913 $5-$30 Italian cuisine and culture is in my blood, literally, and that is why I am more selective with the genre than any other. Coming from Italian-Sicilian heritage, some of my most nostalgic memories are of standing next to my grandmother in the kitchen, barely able to see over the countertop, and being her official taste tester. I can still hear the heavy accent of her native tongue while she sang out, “Mangia, mangia,” holding a spoonful of all-day-simmered red sauce for me to approve. Lemon sorbet with dollops of...

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