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The Ranch House

S. Lomita Ave. (Besant Rd.) Send to Phone
805-646-2360 | Menu
Dine in lush outdoor surroundings at this Ojai restaurant that has offered local produce since before it was fashionable.

Dinner Tues.-Sun.

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The Ranch House, Ojai, CA

The Ranch House Restaurant Review

: The Ranch House was founded by Alan Hooker 40-plus years ago, before California cuisine was even a trend. This sprawling restaurant complex includes an on-site bakery, an herb garden and a teahouse, in which many couples have exchanged vows. The seating is mostly outdoors with tables for two and four tucked away among the lush foliage and small streams. You might be surrounded by bamboo or rose bushes or a trellis of climbing beans, depending on where you sit. Much of Ojai and Ventura's produce is featured on the seasonal menu, where you might encounter a chilled shrimp appetizer with rémoulade and avocado. A wild mushroom strudel is doused in a wine cream sauce. Ojai escargots are sautéed in cream, garlic, white wine and parsley. Though overall quality has slipped over the years, there are still notable successes. A rack of lamb is rubbed with olive oil, garlic and rosemary and served with pineapple-guava chutney. Grilled diver scallops are plated atop a lightly curried corn sauce with dry vermouth. For dessert, you can usually count on the ginger-lavender crème brûlée and a selection of McConnell’s Ice Cream, made in Santa Barbara. Sommelier Michael Denney has been here since 1980 and his 53-page, 700-label wine list should satisfy even the most discriminating oenophile.


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