The Ranch House
102 Besant Rd
Ojai, CA 93023Neighborhood:
ContinentalPrice: $31 to $50
The Ranch House
- Dining Style: Fine Dining
- Website: http://theranchhouse.com/
- Phone: 8056462360
- Hours of Operation:
Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 5:30pm - 8:30pm; Sunday: 12:30pm - 7:30pm
Brunch: Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00pm
- Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,JCB,MasterCard,Visa
- Cuisine: Continental, Californian
- Executive Chef: Stuart Farnham
- Dress Code: Casual Dress
- Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
- Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Beer, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies), Private Room, Smoking Area, View, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine, Wine Bar
- Private Party Contact: David or Edie Skaggs 8056462360
- Entertainment: Spring, Summer and Fall. Friday and/or Saturday nights.
A word from The Ranch House
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.....Continued
Foodspotting photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerOutdoor Dining
- Diners' Choice WinnerRomantic
- Diners' Choice WinnerMost Booked
The Ranch House - Best Restaurants in Ojai ›
The Ranch House reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since June 3, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (52)romantic (46)special occasion (34)scenic view (25)fit for foodies (18)neighborhood gem (18)notable wine list (11)great for brunch (8)good for groups (5)kid-friendly (4)late-night find (2)great for lunch (1)Show More
- Good foodOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 9/28/2014The ranch house food was very good. Unfornutely, the place is in need of a sprucing up. It looks dated, shows poor care and things like some of the patio heaters do not work. the service is very spotty. Most of the staff seem unfamiliar with their jobs and walk areound amelessly. Overall I liked the food but would have trouble returning there.
- New Improvements are Fantastic!allisoncDined on 9/19/2014I've been to the Ranch House several times and have never had a bad experience. This time was especially fantastic, as I had the opportunity to introduce my 13 year old son to my favorite California restaurant. The entrance has been remodeled and was very tastefully and eclectically done. The same favorite features are still there, though, including the beautiful garden and fish pond. There have been some changes to the menu, all of which were amazing. I had the crab stuffed shrimp and my son had the scallops. The food was very tasteful, had many layers of flavors and presentation was perfect. The host who seated us was extremely welcoming and told us a great story of the history, which I'd never been told before. It was a nice touch!Special Features:
- Beautiful grounds, fair foodOpenTable Diner Since 2013Dined on 9/19/2014The Ranch House has impressive grounds, very lush and perfect for a pre- or after-dinner stroll. Tables are set at various levels and locations surrounded by the lush gardens. Perfect for a small wedding or any special occasion. Unfortunately the food, while good, is not outstanding. The tomato tart with ricotta cheese, and heirloom tomatoes drizzled with an excellent balsamic vinegar was a highlight. Both the shrimp and seabass entrees were just so-so.Special Features:
- It brings us back!ChiefDined on 9/18/2014I was introduced to the restraurant in the 70's! I introduced it to my wife 22 years ago! It is an annual tradition coming up here all these years; and will continue!!!Special Features:
- musicKikoDined on 9/9/2014When few people are at the Ranch House, the volume of the "background" music is too high. The volume is appropriate for when the house is more filled with diners.Special Features:
- Wonderful Dining ExperienceGoodspot2dineDined on 8/20/2014We loved the relaxed feel of this place – like a comfortable dining room in a friends home. We definitely would return to try more dishes. The scallops were amazing and the chicken was delicious. Service was well-timed and friendly, the wines were affordable.Special Features:
- no scallops, but no disappointmentlizzieDined on 8/17/2014Your web site mentions the special appeal of grilled scallops...a big favorite of mine. But alas, none appeared on the menu. The next best seafood item, shrimp, unfortunately has mighty hot chile accompanying it, so not on my list either...hmm...what to do...the stand-by choice to the rescue for this non-red meat eater (many of those on the menu!) - chicken..and it was most delicious and very ample (next day's lunch too:)Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Ranch HouseSTEVEDined on 8/16/2014The ambiance was amazing, outdoors surrounde by trees and ponds and running stream. The food was just ok. Service was mediocre at best.Special Features:
- reviewOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 8/6/2014Good food not great. Not like it was in its early years...rather more common now. Place is overgrown and in some disrepair but still a nice garden to walk through.
- A truly wonderful find! Wow!dancergirlDined on 8/3/2014The Ranch House looked unique and romantic. It did not disappoint! We were greeted by the owner and he couldn't have been more gracious. We got the best table in the place. It was past a little bridge and lovely pond, tucked away behind lots of bamboo. It was quiet, romantic and private. He invited us to stroll around the grounds as we wished-it was that beautiful. My boyfriend ordered the half chicken and I ordered the scallops. Mine was the most divine combination of flavors! When the waitress came to check on us all I could say was, "Oh my God!" With a big smile, she replied, "I will let the chef know." We both walked out extremely impressed & pleased. Everything was fresh, presented beautifully, and the service was excellent.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Romantic dinnerlovegoodfoodDined on 8/2/2014We were spending the weekend in Ojai and The Ranch House was one of the recommendations made for dinner. It is a really beautiful garden setting very similar to Inn of the Seventh Rey, in Topanga Canyon, on a smaller scale. My husband is a meat eater and I am a vegan and we both has amazing food! we were surprised by what an amazing little gem this was inside because it doesn't look like this from the outside- so do not judge it by the outside! a wonderful place is hidden behind the front door!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Can't always go back.raydinesDined on 8/1/2014We moved out of the area in the 90's and the Ranch House was our "special occasion" favorite. The menu included unusual gourmet selections that were presented orally by the server. The chef made extensive use of the fresh herbs from the garden and several teas utilized herbs growing there as well. On our recent visit we enjoyed a lovely table overlooking the garden. Soft music was also well selected. We had a chilled melon soup and heirloom tomato torte which were excellent. Our entrees were scallops and pork sirloin. Both were good, but not extraordinary and we're not good value for the cost ($30). Still a magical place, but the menu needs to be expanded to regain the restaurants past glory.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food & great historyBABODined on 7/16/2014If you're in Ojai and you want a bit of local history and wonderful food, go to the Ranch House. Its got a new chef and the menu is lovely. We had a steak (first rate) and sea bass encrusted with coffee & chili!!!....amazingly excellent. A quiet, romantic spot, very casual and only minutes from downtown Ojai.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good birthday dinnerhomecookDined on 7/16/2014Went for a birthday dinner. A little disappointed that menu did not match web menu so 2 of the things we wanted were not available. Scallops and ribeye were both delicious.Special Features:
- give them a couple months to settleOpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 7/15/2014The restaurant was in the midst of renovation AND change of ownership when we dined there. The food (as always) delicious. The staff helpful and accommodating, albeit frustrated with the ongoing changes and construction. Not a deal breaker, but we were given two different style wine glasses to use with our bottle of wine(dusty also). I would go back, but not for a few months at least till the dust settlesSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- It lives up to its reputationMichealDined on 7/12/2014This place is special, and you get that when you first walk through the garden gates. The setting is serene and the management is clearly in control of an expert group of servers and chefs who work together to provide and amazing dining experience. Many romantic "private" table settings upon request, the restaurant would be a perfect choice for a special dinner. The food was excellent; they really do the "farm to table" thing very well. The food is fresh and prepared well. The service is present without being over the top.Special Features:
- Finding their way but on right pathDishingOjaiDined on 7/12/2014Dined here twice this particular week. On 7/10, we came for a previously advertised wine tasting which no one knew about. The new manager (the second one since the new owner took over just a few months ago) was VERY gracious and took EXCELLENT care of us. Marcus was not cooking, but the kitchen did just fine. On 7/12, we returned with a four-top and discovered the too-good-to-be-true, short-lived, free-to-$10 corkage fee is no more; it's now $15. The wine list isn't what it used to be, so $15 isn't bad. Food is consistently good and creative and fresh with lots of local influences, but the menu is still a bit limited. The good news is that although they are still finding their way, the path they are on appears to be the right one.Special Features:
- Great food, service, lovely settingnjoyitDined on 7/12/2014The two of us enjoyed the evening entirely. Food and wine were excellent, portions of each were generous; we both recommend wholeheartedly. Try it!Special Features:
- Oldie but goodienotafoodieDined on 7/8/2014The Ranch House was an unexpected surprise. Although to me, the name made it sound more like a steak house, it is definitely not a steak house. The food was delicious, beautifully presented and inventive, and the service was polite and attentive. The gardens are beautiful but need the attention of a good gardener. Love the hidden dining areas among the bamboo. The place restaurant itself is in desperate need of some updating and the dumpster in close proximity of the front entrance is a turn off. The new manager is quite a character and clearly has improvements in mind. I'll keep an eye on the place for improvements and hope to dine there again next time I'm in Ojai.Special Features:
- Wilted flowerScooterDined on 7/6/2014It is unfortunate to see this once charming place so diminished. The garden remains lovely and serene but The deck area feels exposed and unfriendly. The problems, oversized brown butcher paper over pristine white table cloths...a silly choice; the first wine choice was out of stock, as was the second choice...after waiting too long for the stock to be checked; water service slow; food ok; and green tea ice cream that tasted exactly like salted carmel! It was a 45 th anniversary dinner, which they knew about, but no congratulatory peep....oh yes, from the bus boy who noticed the full table crayon drawing done by my husband on that butcher paper. And that wonderful cartoon was the best part of the evening.Special Features:
- worst food in OjaiOpenTable Diner Since 2010Dined on 7/5/2014Living in Ojai for 15 years and only visited thenRanch House occasionally because it was over priced and food was simply not memorable. When new owner took over, we were cautiously optimistic (they have hand in other restaraunt in town which suffers from poor food). Extremely disappointed. Had a very special dinner with major celebrity guest from Hollywood and other local couple. Our local friends did not want to dine here for fear we would be disappointed and ruin our special evening. We should have listened. Ambience was great and the fun ended there. One entre was returned (lamb chops) because they were indelible. Two chicken entre's were untouched. Nothing was good.Special Features:
- I wanted to like itSFEaterDined on 7/5/2014I wanted to like this place after all the hype. But we were seated at the worst wobbly table right by the house door. After our dinner we walked around the tables and saw many open tables that were nicer options. I don't understand why we were seated in our spot. The food at best was ok. The server forgot my avocado soup after talking about how good it was. When it finally came out, it tasted like a very thick avocado salad dressing. I only took a few bites. The scallops were ok. Clearly they had a lot of purple potatoes because both the steak and the scallops came out on a bed of purple mash. I admit being a San Francisco native makes me a bit of a food snob but, if you're charging this price point, I expect more.Special Features:
- A MUST when visiting Ojai!ohlindaDined on 6/29/2014The Ranch House was recommended to us and now we recommend to you!! We just loved celebrating here - everything was wonderful ! We suggest you request sitting at one of the secluded tables if you are are sharing a romantic dinner...Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great food but service was lackinggeorgiaDined on 6/28/2014Been coming here for 20+ yrs. and was disappointed in the revised wine/food lists. Less offerings, especially the much smaller wine list. However, the food was delicious and fresh. The service was lacking but I attribute that to the change of ownership. Hopefully, they will get their act together and return to the standard of excellence that the RH was noted for mSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- A sensory delightSharDined on 6/26/2014The water features and on site herb garden excite all the senses. You just know you are going to have an incredible fresh food experience and the environment supports all of that. The lighting and (for us) the tradition of the Ranch House make it an all time favorite.Special Features:
- Great evening with friendsOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/26/2014We have not been in about 6 years, but it was just as good if not better than we rememberedSpecial Features:
- ojaipattiojaipattiDined on 6/21/2014Our first time dining since the new owner. Dinner was excellent, I had sea bass and my husband had steak. The polenta was excellent, best I have ever had in a restaurant. I was a bit disappointed in the desserts. Pana cotta was not right and the cake my hubbie had seemed a day or two old. Perhaps desserts are not being house made? Service was very good. Inside dining room being renovated and some work going on with the ponds, but still lovely. We will definitely return.Special Features:
- reopening49erDined on 6/21/2014too soon. construction in main dining room. bakery not in operation. web site obsolete and does not reflect current menu or wine list. we've been going to the Ranch House for 49 years and hope it can get back up to the quality it used to have. Pete McDermottSpecial Features:
- Love the new corkage policyDishingOjaiDined on 6/20/2014Since most of the wine inventory was sold off, the corkage policy has loosened: it's $10 or free if you have a good story!Special Features:
- Disappointed this timebeachloverDined on 6/18/2014Normally we love going to The Ranch House. We were excited to take our daughter who was in town to celebrate her birthday. I called ahead and asked for a table set in the trees. Instead when we arrived we were given a table facing the garden (not bad, but not what I wanted). But then we found out that their kitchen is being remodelled so many of the foods we had expected were not available - their fresh baked bread, etc. The food was ok, but not of the quality we have had in the past. And they did nothing to celebrate my daughters birthday, which was disappointing. We will likely go back, but we will wait for the kitchen remodel to be finished.Special Features:
- Ambiance makes it! Food does not.LexiDined on 6/18/2014You could not ask for a more beautiful setting, with tall willowy trees, stone paths and fountains, private dining decks, herb garden, etc.! Unfortunately the food and wine leave much to be desired. The menu was quite limited, along with pricey. We split a steak, which was cooked just right, However, it was quite tough; not a good cut of meat. The "purple polenta" served as a side was just plain weird--tasteless with gritty consistency. There was nothing else on the plate: no garnish, no veg's. It just seemed not much effort was put into the dinner. No bread was served; had to ask for more water. You can't just depend on great ambiance to keep customers happy. Serve quality food at reasonable prices: that's what people want.Special Features:
- eatsoutoftenDined on 6/15/2014The restaurant is beautiful and very romantic - set in a garden. The food was poor - my baked avocado with quinoa was burned and my husband's ribeye steak was all fat and bad quality.Special Features:
- paulVIPDined on 6/15/2014whenever in the area, this is the place where we have at least a lunch and/or dinner, always great and pleasant atmosphere and great food
- Romantic Outdoor DininglindaleetDined on 6/15/2014We have been going here for over 30 years for special occasion dining. The best part is the beautiful outdoor garden dining experience. The food is good, but what you're really paying for is the ambiance. We are going again this weekend.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- New Staff, New MenuDishingOjaiDined on 6/14/2014I miss the old Ranch House, but I'm really excited about what the new owner is doing. The food is the main attraction here: creative, local, well-priced.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- DisappointingJohannaDined on 6/13/2014To be fair, we did not know the restaurant had changed ownership and were expecting the same experience we have had there for years. We were very disappointed when we saw the menu - it had completely changed and was very limited. My husband had a soup that was good but I had a garden salad that was too peppery. My scallops were delicious. My husband's medium rare steak was well done and had to be sent back. The replacement was tasty but not particularly tender. The chocolate cake was heavy and too sweet for us. The coffee was extremely weak and couldn't hold up to a bit of cream. The setting is as beautiful as ever. Based on the scallops, they have the ability to be really wonderful - hope they work it out.Special Features:
- DisappointedDaikuwestDined on 6/12/2014While the food and wine were excellent, I had to get up several times to ask for things and when ordered things were not delivered to our table. For example 2 orders of the soup had to be ordered from a 2nd staff person, appetizers also had to be ordered a 2nd time before the rest of the appetizers were delivered. Too bed because we had always enjoyed ourselves immensely in the past.Special Features:
- Happy 52nd. BirthdayOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 6/12/2014Great venue for a special occasion. Long drive from Redondo Beach but worth it.Special Features:
- Twinkly lights in a fairylandAdnillDined on 6/8/2014Just beautiful garden setting. Under new ownership and still getting their sea legs. Food okay, but the woodland bower makes it seem better than it is. Not as expensive as some of the Ojai standards. Unfortunately, the evening we were there several small boys were running around making for a very non adult meal.Special Features:
- BillisDined on 6/7/2014My wife and I enjoyed celebrating our anniversary there. Beautiful view, quiet ambiance, romantic. A special occasion placeSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.