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“No potatoes!”
Review of Ranch House

Ranch House
Ranked #16 of 96 Restaurants in Ojai
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, View, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Romantic
Dining options: Brunch, Dinner, 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.....
Oak View, California
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“No potatoes!”
Reviewed 17 August 2014

Steaks were excellent, we were offered potatoes but when we were served, there was polenta
Instead!. We were offered rice instead, but no potatoes!, at 7:00 pm mind you! Menu was not the same as the posted one on their web site!.Not to fond of cucumber's in my ice water. Not our " Old
Ranch House" Sorry!

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
6 Thank Dick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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257 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Distressing changes under new ownership”
Reviewed 21 July 2014

I have visited the Ranch House from time to time since the late 1970s. In the last few years, the menu had become rather tired, as they kept offering a small group of Alan Hooker's recipes, largely unchanged since the 60s. But the place still had much going for it: a wonderful staff, many of whom had been there for decades, a brilliant sommelier who assembled a fabulous annotated wine list, beautifully cared for herb, vegetable and flower gardens, delicious breads baked on the premises and a very high standard of service and meal presentation. And sometimes the prepared food was truly fine (though there were duds, too). The restaurant was sold in May 2014, and the result is both distressing and confusing. First off, all of the tables and chairs have been removed from the interior dining room (most of the tables are on outdoor patios); it's now just a big unfurnished room at the center of the property that one enters through. Once shown to a table, visitors will notice a striking contrast with the white tablecloth and crystal stemware of the Ranch House of old; now, the tablecloth is covered by a large square of brown craft paper, and topped with a small cup of worn coloring crayons and a small clay pot holding a wilted plant. Crayons and brown paper? There were also cocktail glasses with one copper penny in each of them arrayed around the dining tables. Huh? The waitress was friendly and attentive but gave some incorrect information about dishes that were ordered--one plate contained items she hadn't mentioned and lacked some that she promised. It appeared that she was the only waitstaff working, and I saw no bussers, no somellier or maitre'd. The wine list has been reduced to a small number of low-to-moderate priced wines: no aged, unusual or high-end wines. The menu items are well presented but not exceptional, nor did they seem to build on the tradition of highlighting the flavors of local and grown-on-the-premises vegetables and herbs that the Ranch House pioneered. I also heard from two women diners that the woman's bathroom was dirty and ill-maintained. I'm being generous in giving three starts--the meal wasn't terrible, but given the potential of this place, things seem to have gone very far astray. I hope the new owners will somehow figure out what an asset they have and correct course, but the signs are not good.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Nomdegeneric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ojai, California
Level Contributor
35 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Complete change from my last review!”
Reviewed 28 June 2014

My last review in March was very negative, it was the old owners, old menu, sommelier and servers. This place is now under new owners and the chef Marcus Hollingsmworth is a genius. He is creating something new every day, organic produce, homemade cheeses, amazing and inovative entrees. This place is now a fun and delicious place to dine. All the unhappy past diners should revisit and be impressed with the fabulous change. Anything posted prior to April 2014 should be disregarded.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank OjaiDiane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
World
Level Contributor
113 reviews
49 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“overpriced”
Reviewed 3 June 2014

way way over priced - food quality is below average - bread is lovely - atmosphere is nice. In a dish they said everything is organic but it was hard to believe them. I won't go back.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
6 Thank worldtraveler2392123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
144 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 119 helpful votes
“Oasis you didn't know was there”
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Had the fortune of being invited to Sunday brunch at the Ranch House. From the outside it looks like a place you'd park your horse, but as you walk into and onto the property, it's a lovely oasis.
Although there is plenty of indoor dining, on a spectacular day here the 1st of June, we ate at one of the varied outdoor tables. Their incredibly landscaped gardens lead to many private dining tables amidst tall stands of bamboo, flowing ponds and flowers in gardens. Tables are placed with plenty of room from each other. And they have an herb garden from which many dishes are tastefully seasoned. On to the food: it was excellent! Had a mushroom appetizer that was to die for. Had crab cakes which were terrific and the smoked salmon fettuccini was light and creamy and super rich. We ate so much couldn't fathom having desserts, but the selection looked good. Service was delightful; food served quickly. And I hear at night they have magical lights making for a very romantic setting outdoors. I'd highly recommend!!!

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank drtike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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