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“Mediocrity at a Dear Price” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ranch House

Ranch House
Ranked #20 of 96 Restaurants in Ojai
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: View, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic, Local cuisine
Dining options: Dinner, Brunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Besant Rd
Transit: Ojai Trolly stops 1/2 block away. Ojai Taxi available.
Description: The ultimate in romance--hidden away in the beautiful Ojai Valley located between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Intimate garden dining, meandering streams, award winning cuisine, Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence wine list with over 700 selections available, bakery and herb garden on premises--for over 56 years this romantic garden restaurant has been perfection in Ojai.....
Ojai, California
Level Contributor
19 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Mediocrity at a Dear Price”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 April 2014

The setting at the Ranch House is truly lovely. I just wish their food and service measured up as well. The customer service is well below par for the restaurant's pretensions. A well-trained, friendly, and well-functioning staff would be a welcome improvement and would help compensate for the small food portions so popular now. The food quality is generally - though not always - acceptable but not worth the cost in the overall picture. Yes, the ambiance is lovely and is quintessentially Ojai but there are many other fine restaurants with better value.

  • Visited March 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank William B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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251 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    125
    48
    43
    19
    16
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
52 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Essence of Ojai in a Leisurely Meal...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2014

Ojai, Ca is 13 miles from Rte. 101 and a galaxy away from the rest of Southern California. There are a few special places in Ojai to enjoy a good meal, but none so embodies the spirit, the ambiance, even the fragrances of this wonderful little town as the Ranch House Restaurant. Seated on the porch, next to the organic garden, whiffs of lilac, lavendar and orange blossom transport the diner to a state of mind in which everything is allll right..... On Friday I returned to the Ranch House to catch up with an old friend over an unhurried dinner. The first thing that happens is that the sommelier, Michael Denny, comes by with a vast and marvelous wine list. If you pride yourself on picking just the right thing, you'll love this list. And I'm no slouch, but I've learned to tell Michael my mood, a price range, and any other hints that might describe what will be right for the night--and he goes into his remarkable wine cellar and brings back something delicious. If you ask him (as is the custom with a great sommelier) to share a bit of the wine with you (a bottle my dears, not a glass), you will also learn a good deal about that wine. Moving on to dinner: the menu rarely changes. This drives some people crazy. And though I like a good avant garde restaurant as much as the next person, the Ranch House gives me a place to relax, no surprises, just a welcoming setting for a great, dependable meal. I'm trying to only eat half of my portions these days (we all eat too much); but I confess, the other night I devoured the rack of lamb that was perfectly prepared. (And I can promise the scallops are equally fine). And though their desserts are all lovely--the New Orleans Merengue is the only dessert I ever order. Once you've tried it you'll understand why.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank jolineg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ojai, California
Level Contributor
30 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Boring menu”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 March 2014

Love the ambience here, I have been coming here for at least 20 years, but please change the menu!! Need a reason to come back.

  • Visited December 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank OjaiDiane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newbury Park, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“horrible”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2014

The service was awful - no details necessary, we were not given good service at all. The lentil soup had to have been from a can, it was lackluster and just blah. The scallops that Cat Cora raved about were also awful. Burned and sitting on a bed of odd tasting corn mush. Every plate at our party of six had the same vegetables and sides, an ice cream scoop of bland butternut squash puree, two spears of asparagus with a 1980s sauce on it. So disappointed. It was banquet/wedding food. And even at that it was gross.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Elise L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ventura, California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Surprise, surprise!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 February 2014

Thank goodness for mapquest or we wouldn't have found it. From the outside it does indeed look like a Ranch House nestled in the trees. Inside the courtyard the ambiance is wonderful. I look forward to returning on a warm spring evening. Inside there are a number of rooms. Although it was lightly drizzling outside we sat on the balcony overlooking a wonderful garden with fruit trees and Daffodils. The service was exceptional, the menu impressive. My husband had the scallops and said they were the best he has eaten. I had a shrimp appetizer and the squab salad. Both were light and filling, my goal for dinner. We both agreed that now we know the path there, We'll be back.

  • Visited February 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Marilyn M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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