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: (805) 646-2360
- 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
59 reviews since July 24, 2014
- Ambiance4.5Noise LevelModerate
great for outdoor dining (48)romantic (47)special occasion (41)fit for foodies (25)neighborhood gem (23)scenic view (20)notable wine list (13)good for groups (9)great for brunch (5)kid-friendly (5)hot spot (4)late-night find (3)great for lunch (2)Show More
- food was deliciousTYLER2Dined on 11/15/2014Everything was excellent. From the server to the food. Absolutely perfect night. Singer was right next to us and volume was a little low. Overall great night.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Master chefvcnolefanVIPDined on 11/15/2014Great food and ambience. Everything expertly cooked. Great outdoor scenery with heaters to deal with cold weather. Food cooked with oil to stay dairy free - greatly appreciated.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- WonderfulOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 11/14/2014I really enjoy eating here. The food is always excellent and the presentation and flavor is spot on.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Food Improved, Identity Schizophrenic, a Few ProbsAsISeeItDined on 11/12/2014Re. dinner serving - atmosphere. OMG - brown paper on the table and a glass full of crayons during dinner? If the new owners want to cater to families with small children during the dinner hour then tweak the menu, drop the prices, and turn up the lights...decide what kind of restaurant you want to be. Grown-up prices, grown-up atmosphere, low low low lighting, grown up menu, grown up beverage list does not equal "small kids who need to color during dinner". Loose the paper, loose the crayons during dinner. Re. dinner serving - food and service. We ordered crab cake appetizers - very nicely presented but too much filler and chunks of crab had been broken down so much as to be somewhat mushy. However, you could tell that, minus some filler and if the crab had not been broken down so much, there was flavor potential. Quarter sized cakes rested on bed of corn and (overly) sweet berry sauce - tart sauce dollop on top of cakes was nice. Sweet/tart balance wasn't quite there and crab flavor lost. House salad was nice - lovely mixture of greens, radishes etc. - lettuce was still a little wet so slightly droopy and dressing didn't adhere too well but overall the salad had good bones. Lamb Shanks (speaking of bones) - Very meaty, nice and tender, on a bed of creamy polenta. Polenta was rich and very good, so too the shanks. Serving portion was generous and the flavors good. Service needs fine tuning and training on the wine list or, hire a sommelier. We asked for wine suggestion, waiter told us they didn't really know about wine. We appreciated the honesty but if you're touting your wine list you need to be prepared to offer pairing suggestions. Only real complaint here is that staff kept trying to take plates away even while we were still eating. All in all it was a pleasant experience but at $250+ for 3 people it should be and for this reviewer at least, the problems are amateurish.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Getting what you pay for!runtoeatDined on 11/7/2014The Ranch House is my go-to restaurant for any special occasion. One of the best restaurants in Ventura county. The menu always has new dishes, the wine list is extensive and serves a wide range of price levels, but all is amazing. The service is attentive but quiet which is nice. The plates are generous portions I couldn't finish my main course after juicy crab cakes and a salad of tender greens. I don't like mushrooms but this is the only place I'll eat them... in the mushroom turnover appetizer. The chef and staff definitely make an impression as I keep thinking about this meal, 4 days later.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- MadaDined on 11/2/2014Terrible service, not attentive, never asked if we wanted another cocktail, coffee, more water, dessert. unfortunate experienceSpecial Features:
- DisappointedGrandmaDDined on 11/2/2014The restaurant has a very effective website. everything was very average and over priced for it being so average. I don't know if it past it's prime or if they are trying to "reinvent" themselves. But whichever it is, it did not hit the mark. I probably would be a little more lenient if the prices were more representative of the actual experience. As I said it was very average all the way around.
- YJOYCEDined on 11/2/2014I was very impressed with my evening's dinner at The Ranch House. The setting is beautiful, the food abundant and delicious and the service was excellent. I am definitely planning to return in the near future.Special Features:
- UnderwhelmingOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 11/1/2014Arrived on time for our 7 PM reservation on a Saturday. Lots of empty tables and we were led to one immediately adjacent to the kitchen. Asked to for something a bit more private. Eventually just kind of self-selected and adjusted the heaters. Appetizers were excellent (mushroom strudel and pate). House salad was boring. Wedge was good but expect a bit better quality blue cheese on a $12 salad. Sea bass special was horribly overcooked such that it was very fishy and dry. Creme brulee was outstanding which the brownie sundae required a hammer drill to cut.Special Features:
- OBGbinvegasDined on 10/30/2014The Ranch House has been in operation for 60 years. I went there for the first time in 1971. It was a very special place then as it is now. Everything about it is top notch. Now I have to travel 300 miles to get to it.Special Features:
- Wine list, NOTOpenTable Diner Since 2006Dined on 10/29/2014They advertise a wine list of 650 wines when, in fact, it contains only about 20 overpriced selections.Special Features:
- Fingers crossedFleazyDined on 10/26/2014This was my first visit to the Ranch House, whose reputation proceeds it. Unfortunately however the establishment recently sold and it seems the new ownership and staff still have to work out the kinks. The wine list was pedestrian, the pâté presentation was dire, my chicken cordon bleu was way over cooked, my friend's order arrived ice cold and during all this the server or anyone was completely absent. The whole thing seemed VERY amateur. I have my fingers crossed this ownership can pull it together and that the name will live on.Special Features:
- highly recommendOpenTable Diner Since 2007Dined on 10/26/2014beautiful garden setting, very friendly & attentive service and excellent food.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Quite a disappointmentShellyVIPDined on 10/25/2014We read about this restaurant in a story about Ojai in the LA Times which gave it a really good review. Unfortunately the restaurant is under new management it has lost quite a bit of it's previous luster.Special Features:
- Awesome ExperienceKtotDined on 10/19/2014My boyfriend and I were in Ojai for my friend’s wedding which also fell on my his birthday so I wanted to do something special for him while we were visiting. I Googled restaurants for about an hour, and I must have read 50 reviews when I finally came across The Ranch House. The pictures were amazing, and the comments were wonderful! At that moment I knew this was the place to take him. When we arrived we were both sooo happy with the choice! The atmosphere was even better in person, and the food was INCREDIBLE!!! We sat outside near a wonderful garden, and enjoyed every minute of our meal. Everyone was so polite and our waitress even took a few pics of us that turned out great! If we ever come back to Ojai we will make sure to visit again.Special Features:
- foodlvr45Dined on 10/19/2014Wonderful food, the best buerre blanc sauce ever on the scallops. Everything cooked to perfection.House wine was really nice. Love all the twinkle lights outside. We have eaten there many times but the improvements under new ownership were well received.Special Features:
- awful food weird vibesOpenTable Diner Since 2010VIPDined on 10/17/2014This place used to be incredible but since change of owners it is truely awful. Don't waste y your time
- Great at the RanchKayTVIPDined on 10/17/2014This was our first visit to the Ranch House, we brought another couple with us. We shared the mushroom strudel and chicken liver pate, both great. The men had the fish of the day which was halibut, excellent, the ladies both had the jumbo scallops cooked to perfection. the gardens are beautiful with all the roses and herbs, very romantic and calming. The only problem was a couple brought their four children with them and let them run around through the trees, very noisy and disruptive, total disregard for other diners. This restaurant is not a park. If your children can't sit at the table and eat their dinner, leave them home. We loved everything about the Ranch House and look forward to another visit soon.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/14/2014Great history and outdoor sitting areas. Food was good, but not great. Service was very good.Special Features:
- Romantic DinnerSpecialOccasionDined on 10/14/2014It was a perfect setting for my sweetie and I to have romantic dinner. The service and food were great. Our special occasion went as it should, with nothing wrong. Thanks Ranch House, we will be back!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 10/11/2014A very enjoyable and quiet romantic experience. Food was pretty good, but our waitress was either new or just didn't understand the menu or the wine list.Special Features:
- Worth The WaitJilliant99Dined on 10/4/2014I've wanted to try this restaurant for many years. I grew up in Ojai but moved away before I had the opportunity. I made reservations when I knew I would be in town and it was definitely worth the wait. The food was fantastic, crab cakes and scallops!!! And the view was just beautiful and serene. Garden landscape, little white lights and some tables hidden away make for a romantic evening. Loved it and will be going back:Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The Ranch House RevisitedsquidarmyDined on 10/2/2014My favorite restaurant when I lived in the Ventura area, I had not been in over a decade and was unaware there were new owners. We were greeted by the host who showed us the grounds and told us the history of The Ranch House. The gardens have been brought back to their former glory and the interior now has an amazing open lounge area with views to the garden. The food was everything an updated Ranch House should be- updated classic California cuisine with an emphasis on fresh locally grown ingredients. Order anything-all 3 of us loved our choices, but I insist you order the Wild Mushroom Strudel as your appetizer.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 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.
- SO SAD~THE NEW RANCH HOUSE IS BADGFFoodandWineLoverDined on 9/27/2014We have dined here often for 25 years. The new red sofa in the lounge belongs in a Vegas bar. Our server was not qualified to serve in what used to be a fine dining house. She shared that she didn’t know anything about wine. A salad was unimaginative and not worth $9. The scallops were big but the combination of ingredients didn’t work. The beef tenderloin was overcooked. The dessert menu was recited to us with the only one gluten free option. The website still reads: “Wine Spectator Grand Award Winning wine list with approx. 650 selections to tempt you.” Yet we were given a one page list. Our meal was not worth $130 and the beautiful ambiance of the real Ranch House was gone. This place is no longer worthy to be called The Ranch House.
- Great placeRobGraceStyleDined on 9/26/2014Recently remodeled - new chef - incredible service & now the have a lounge with piano bar!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- 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.
- The following 264 reviews are from the The Ranch House reviews archive.
- 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.