This weekend I had the chance to get out of Los Angeles and visit the town of Ojai with three of my girlfriends. We like to think of these retreats as a sort of Sex in the City episode, but in all honestly it’s usually more like Sex in the City meets Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. We started our trip off at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa (a fabulous spa) and ended at the Ojai emergency clinic. Need I say more? Between the pampering, shopping, unusual nightlife, mayo tattoos, and injuries, we were able to sneak in a few delicious bites at the local restaurants. Ojai Coffee Roasting Co. prepared us for the day with a great breakfast of bagels, pastrami sandwiches, fresh squeezed blood orange juice and iced chais. Lunch at the spa was simple but yummy, although stay away from the cat food like minced chicken in the lettuce cups. But the real food highlight of out trip began at mom and daughter owned restaurant Suzanne’s Cuisine.
I could go on about how charming this restaurant is with it’s outside patio, decorated with orchids and fireplace and how friendly the staff is, or how Zagat calls it a “gem” and “one of the best reasons to go to Ojai” but lets get to the important stuff- the eats.
I started the night off right with Max’s mango martini made with fresh mango puree and a squeeze of lime. This was one of the best drinks I have ever had (mango is my favorite fruit) and although it may not have had the complexity of Matt Biancaniello's cocktails, its simplicity was perfection.
I also tried the Caesar salad, a little too creamy for my taste, (I prefer them light and citrusy) but good nonetheless.
Butter lettuce with blue cheese, shaved red onions, tomato and sweet pecans, dressing with vinaigrette. This was my favorite salad, light but full of flavor.
The special salad of the night. Arugula grapfruit, roasted pepitas, avocado and feta. The pepitas were a very nice addition.
Rigatoni with tomato, zucchini, basil, crushed red chile and feta cheese with spicy italian sausage. We got ours with angel hair pasta and one order without the sausage. Both were excellent. The feta gave an unusual and creamy flavor to the tomato sauce which I loved.
Uncle Angelo’s favorite meatballs with marinara sauce on fusilli. A comfort dish that did not disappoint.
Crème brulee. I'm not a huge fan of crème brulee in general but thought this one could have been silkier in texture.
Overall an excellent dinner and well worth the trip.
502 W Ojai Ave
Ojai, CA 93023