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“Great romantic place. A...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Ranch House

Ranch House
102 Besant Road, Ojai, CA 93023
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Ranked #27 of 83 Restaurants in Ojai
Price range: $31 - $50
Cuisines: American, Contemporary
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating, Special occasions, Scenic view, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Dinner, Reservations
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.....
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“Great romantic place. A...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2008

Great romantic place. A bit pricey but good.

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146 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Ventura, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2007

I have been to this restaurant many times over the years. It is a alovely garden setting and i can see why many weddings take place here. Eating here is like eating in someone's rose garden. It is quaint and elegant and the food is consistent and wonderful. Ask to sit outside and get under a heat lamp and you will be waited on by a great staff. This is a can't miss restaurant for a romantic evening in Ojai!

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Los Angeles, CA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Great Ambiance, Terrible Food”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2007

I must say that the outdoor sitting area of this restaurant is excellent. A few of my girlfriends and I came here for a birthday dinner. The gardens are beautifully decorated. The ambiance is definitely much better than a lot of other restaurants I have been to. However, I came here looking for and expecting delicious gourmet food, especially after checking out the menu and its prices. Unfortunately, the dining experience here was downright disappointing. We were served slices of whole wheat bread which looked as if the loaf had come from the shelves of Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. I love those markets, and I shop there all the time, but I have a certain expectation from such a pricey restaurant. I expected the bread to be homemade/baked on the premises, or at least warm!

As far as the food is concerned, the seabass entree was extremely dry and tough. When I placed my order with the waitress, I had specifically asked if the seabass was moist and tender, and she confirmed that it absolutely was. When the actual meal came out way below the expectations, we let the waitress know. She then went back to the kitchen and when she reappeared she informed us that the chef admitted that the fish they had gotten that day was not of the same quality as usual. In my mind, I wondered why the chef, if he claimed to be a gourmet chef - and based on the prices tagged on their dishes, he must've considered himself somewhat of a gourmet chef who appreciate high quality products, why did he even serve fish of subpar quality? When we asked the waitress if we could be compensated (because I did not want to try another entree), she informed us that they had already decided to not charge us the price of the meal, but they would still charge the minimum charge ($8.50) That was rather disappointing in itself. I have never been to a restaurant who still charges the customer for a dish that he/she is not satisfied with. I feel that a 'professional' restaurant of the caliber that they claim to be should offer to take the entire charge for that dish off the bill.

The presentation of the food was also very ordinary and plain. I would certainly not return to this restaurant. The experience is definitely not worth the price tag.

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Huntington Beach, California
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
“Go for the Gardens”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2007

I had never been to the Ranch House, but had read and heard reviews. The staff was nice on arrival and sat us at a beautiful table up in the bamboo gardens. The place is beautiful, relaxing and a great place to enjoy an evening. We brought our own wine for the special occasion. The sommelier introduced himself, opend and poured a glass and that was the last time we saw him until the end of the meal. So, we were left poring our wine after sitting with empty glasses for quite a bit of time. The corkage was $20 for basically nothing.
The breads were great. The food was good, but again not anything special. The mushroom appetizer was good, but in a philo dough and not in a pastry as I had expected The salmon was nice but the sauce was overbearing and not the right chemistry for the fish. It was an odd paring of flavors for me. The dessert was great...chocolate and ice cream.
It is a nice place to have a special occasion dinner for the ambiance and gardens but I would like to see a menu change.

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17 reviews 17 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Absolutely the Best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2007

From the parking lot the Ranch House is a little deceptive. Once you enter inside you are treated to a garden, bamboo forest and tree house dining areas. We sat facing the incredible gardens and enjoyed gazing at all of the beautiful plants. The service was great, they had a good menu and excellent wine list. The selection of bread was outstanding. You could buy loaves from their bakery if you wanted. Our dinners were excellent and after we enjoyed strolling through the gardens and other areas. If we had stayed in Ojay another night I would have gone back for more!

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