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545 E. Thompson Blvd. (California St.) Send to Phone
City cooking, cement floors and cigars on the patio keep things interesting at this slick Ventura bistro.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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  • 5.0 star rating
5.0 rating over 3 reviews
Dining room at THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Brooks, Ventura, CA

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Brooks Restaurant Review

: Brooks would fit seamlessly in Santa Monica or West L.A., but in Ventura---where Harleys are more common than haute cuisine---it is an anomaly. Chef-owner Andy Brooks turns out boldly-flavored New American food loaded with unconventional twists: a daring cultural pastiche like foie gras and ginger pot stickers with Thai red curry sauce, for example. And the space is equally contemporary. The room is nouveau industrial chic, reminiscent of an urban loft with its high ceiling and exposed brick and metal piping. (The service, though, is friendlier than you’d get in the big city.) While the menu follows the seasons, you’ll always find an appetizer of Prince Edward Island mussels in a piquant sauce of Ventura County limoncello, oven-dried tomato and lemon-thyme cream. Rosy medallions of griddled duck breast are served with butternut squash ravioli and maple-dried blueberry reduction. Ocean specials make use of locally caught seafood, and produce from area farmers bolsters many dishes. Chef Brooks creates dinners around wine, beer, Scotch and even cigars. A five-course tasting menu provides a means to explore his creativity. The dessert list may include fresh seasonal cobblers---which are baked to order---and there’s also a cheese plate to help you savor dessert wines. At the bar, spiffy uptown residents mix with tourists and twenty-somethings sipping specialty cocktails---like the sage margarita: a heady concoction of blood orange juice, Grand Marnier, chili salt and sage-infused tequila. Though upscale, the overall vibe is unpretentious. This is Ventura, after all.

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