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Deer Lodge Restaurant Review: The soundtrack alternates between birdsong and Harley thunder. Dishes range from gluten-free lentil nutloaf to duck confit. Indeed, this longstanding local icon (opened in 1932) captures Ojai Valley’s eclectic spirit of place to a T. Perched along Highway 33 at the southern edge of the Sespe Wilderness, the rustic stone and log structure is a familiar stopping point for hikers and bikers. Cold beer and live music still flow, but a change of ownership in 2013 reestablished traction with diners. Chef Canon Ciccati’s menu showcases local ingredients, from Watkins (grass-fed) Cattle to seasonal greens grown on nearby organic farms. Whiskey, honey and hints of vanilla and ginger are well used in the preparation of a double-cut pork chop. And, of course, there’s a wood-fire grill parked out front, topped with sizzling tri-tip, sending smoke signals to passersby. Countrified classics like roadhouse chili and an ample selection of burgers keep the menu grounded, even with freshly baked brioche replacing the standard sesame-seed bun. For dessert, don’t miss the bread pudding with house-made whiskey caramel and fresh berries.