Author: Leslie Westbrook

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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Love at first bite

KC’s Market Indian food to go 4200 N. Ventura Ave., # A Ventura 643-0176 $1.50-$5 At the far end of Ventura Avenue — after you’ve passed a slew of Mexican restaurants and mercados and the Bell Arts Factory and thrift shops and various tiendas— the road begins to curve and you feel as if you’ve entered into a scene from one of my favorite movies of the past couple of decades — There Will Be Blood. The industrial rural scenery continues and then a rather bland, beige building appears unexpectedly. The spot is home to a terrific Mexican food...

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Hot, fast and tasty at Jim and Rob’s

Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill and Lisa’s Cantina 214 W Ojai Ave, #100| Ojai 640-1301 www.jimandrobsojai.com $2.45-9.50  Jim & Robb & Lisa’s sort of sounds like the 1969 movie Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (or Peter, Paul and Mary), but Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill is a casual restaurant staple in Ojai with a recently added, groovy bar, (Lisa’s Cantina, next door) all under the same ownership with an expanded footprint. The original Fresh Grill opened in 1995 at the other end of town; it’s been located in what Ojai might consider a “ministrip-style mall” (home to...

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BLUEGRASS GOSPEL | Peter Rowan comes to Santa Paula

It may come as no surprise that my phone chat with Grammy award-winning (and six-time Grammy nominee) bluegrass singer-songwriter Peter Rowan was a rambling road of subjects and observations as he drove across the foggy Richmond Bridge on a rainy California day en route to meet his manager in Oakland, California. Rowan, who will be bringing his toe-tapping music to the next installment of the Santa Paula Concert Series on Saturday, March 4, at the Universalist Unitarian Church, has a lot rattling around in that active Buddhist brain of his. I was left to sort it out and make...

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Tiramasu with a view — and then some…

The Shoals Restaurant at The Cliff House 6602 Old Pacific Coast Highway Ventura 652-1381 www.cliffhouseinn.com I often forget about the Shoals, even though I drive by it quite often. Located on the most scenic curve of the Pacific Coast Highway, where the highway hugs the coast and the mountains, Ventura — Santa Barbara commuters pass it daily. Yet Tthe Cliff House Inn and its restaurant the Shoals, is slightly more obscured since the highway was widened, which makes it easier to whiz past. I recently met my friends Lisa and Ron there for a wonderful, relaxed lunch on a...

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Upcoming Community Events

  1. Toastmasters Public Speaking “Speechcraft Workshop”

    February 6 @ 7:00 pm - May 22 @ 8:45 pm
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