Author: Leslie Westbrook

SHOW US THE MELODY | The Ventura Music Festival is full of surprises

Many years ago, Anne Davison, the wife of jazz cornet player “Wild Bill” Davison (1906-1989), used to wear a large button that read: “Show Me the Melody.” Methinks she’d be mighty pleased with the programming of this year’s Ventura Music Festival. The 2017 version, “An American Season,” runs over two weekends with a range of musical styles presented in nine concerts in a variety of locations that include the Olivas Adobe, Ventura College Performing Arts Center, Oxnard Performing Arts Center, Pierpont Inn and even cozy Squashed Grapes, where student jazz competition winners will perform. Ojai talent appears in the...

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Go for the carbs, try out the roots

Ojai Harvest 307 E. Ojai Ave. Suite 105, Ojai 633-9232 $8-28 There’s good news, and there’s bad news at the recently opened Ojai Harvest in the old Los Caporales Mexican restaurant spot in downtown Shangri-La. The restaurant and bar is located next to Libbey Park, which is handy. Outdoor seating faces a parking lot. The two spaces are connected by the kitchen on the inside, but have separate entrances, and guests can dine in the bar if they prefer. Let’s start with the positive: the cozy bar. Great jazz tunes (Chet Baker, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday) were playing over...

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Ojai fixture delivers Mexico City flavors

La Fuente Restaurant 423 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai 646-1066 La Fuente Mexican Grille 107 E. El Roblar Drive Meiners Oaks Under $10 This cozy, family-owned Mexican restaurant at the back of a small strip mall, with a few tables out front, is known for its tamales, homemade corn tortillas and basic inexpensive Mexican fare, all prepared by the hardworking ladies in the kitchen. With parking at a premium, this inexpensive Ojai favorite is one of two La Fuentes owned by the Vegas family. The downtown Ojai one is run by Yolanda; her sister runs La Fuente Mexican Grille in...

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Eating Ojai: A movable feast

Ventura Food Tours www.venturafoodtours.com 805-295-TOUR $54-80  Ventura Food Tours conducts three-hour walking food-tasting (and wine, if desired) tours in Ojai, in Ventura and in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The website invites participant on Ventura Food Tours to “eat your way through Ventura County, one bite at a time.” Eat, we did, one Saturday in Ojai. My friend Tracey (a professional wedding florist and foodie) and I signed up for the Eating Ojai Tasting Tour that began on a Saturday morning at 10:30. The spring weather was perfect on what also happened to be April Fools’ Day and the first...

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Veggies with a side of yoga and Zumba

The Oaks at Ojai 122 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai 646-5573 www.oaksspa.com $140  For $140 you can have a pretty rad meal for two with a good bottle of wine an upscale restaurant. You might be treated to an “amuse bouche” (a little taste) sent out by the chef. In olden days, a “palate cleanser” — often a lemon sorbet so you could continue to the next course, taste buds renewed, would separate each course of your meal. The Oaks at Ojai offers a variation on this theme that includes all-day dining — with the pauses in between ranging from...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Shakespeare: A Celebration

    June 9 - September 28
  2. Channel Islands Harbor Fine Art Festival

    August 19 - August 20
  3. Studio Channel Islands hosts KidSTREAM-sponsored Solar Eclipse Event

    August 20 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
  4. Ojai Pops Orchestra Concert

    August 20 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  5. Experience the Eclipse 2017

    August 21 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm