We hope to be able to update this coverage soon. Many changes have taken place at the OVI in the last few years, too many to keep up with here. Chefs have come and gone, the restaurants have been switched around some being better and others worse. But we can say that the change that brings the outdoor terrace dining that used to be under the cloak of The Oak Cafe is now under the high end Maravilla Restaurant and is of very high quality. We just ate there 9 August 2011 and can attest to it. The Oak Cafe has pulled back from the large, shaded terrace and is not entirely indoors.
Executive chef Chad Minton is now in charge and seems to be the best chef since Chef Michael Otsuka perched at the Inn for a while and then left. Maravilla is still in place indoors and check in for both the indoor and outdoor Maravilla is at the entrance to the bar.
The "Spa" restaurant which was one of our favorite in Ojai, took a nose dive under the direction of Executive chef Jamie West. We will be trying it again now that chef Minton has taken over the post.
More coming soon. Meanwhile, much of the past coverage remains pertinent today
2006 - The Ojai Valley Inn and Resort has finished the major renovation that has transformed the resort into a lovely, southern Spanish/Portugese white washed establishment from the previous mix of various of styles that one designer after another created over the last number of decades. Along with the redo of the infrastructure, the owners had finally brought world class cuisine to the Inn in the form of Chef Michael Otsuka, but he left fairly quickly. One is left to wonder why since he established superb cuisine at least the equal of most fine cuisine in France. We will report on his replacement, but we have been hearing disturbing reports that the food served at the Oak Leaf Café in the evening left a lot to be desired with a winter menu being offered in the heat of the summer.
We had lunch there early August, and found the summer menu with quite good dishes including a very edible Cobb salad. However, the Gazpachio soup was so full of pepper, even our spice loving friend could not gag it down. It has to be said that the response of the serving team was excellent with an immediate replacement of the soup for another dish with no charge either for the soup or the replacement dish.
The "Maravilla Restaurant" is the flagship restaurant. The old barn lilke main restaurant has been divided into 3 intimate and charming rooms, each with its own character and two with fireplaces. Two are warm and welcoming for dinners while the 3rd is a terrace room surrounded with French doors and windows that let in lots of Ojai sun and daylight. It does also have an exterior terrace of evening dining with a view over the vally.
But we have not sampled the food at their flagship restaurant yet and cannot comment. We will miss the fine cuisine of Chef Michael Otsuka however.