Fine Italian cuisine in bucolic SoCal
Olivella, the signature restaurant at Ojai Valley Inn, is a destination within a destination. The Southern California resort popular with Hollywood celebrities, politicians and well-heeled families and couples, debuted this eatery in 2015. That it focuses on local, seasonal California cuisine should come as no surprise, but that it also features Italian-influenced fare is a fresh concept (and done very well at that)

The restaurant has the warm sort of environs that make you want to stay and linger, to look around and enjoy the place like one might do at a large gathering at a friend’s home in northern Italy. All around there are sounds of low-level chatter and people savoring their meals and their companions.

The 240-seat Ojai restaurant features a variety of intimate dining spaces with comfortable seating, unique art and custom-designed lighting. The soft lighting from the round Tuscan-style forged iron chandeliers is a nice, subtle touch complementing the overall dining experience.
Our Inspector's Highlights
  • Chef Andrew Foskey has created a unique dining experience by preparing Italian cuisine with California flair.
  • Some signature dishes you may find on the menu include the sustainably farmed TransparentSea Farm king prawns with prawn butter, fennel, prosciutto and cherry peppers; Channel Islands swordfish with endive, sea bean, caper and white wine sauce; and rigatoni Bolognese, a century-old recipe that has been on the menu since the restaurant opened..
  • Desserts are no afterthought, either. Pick from crowd-pleasers like Ojai olive oil cake with candied fennel, olive oil curd, pistachio, basil meringue, and greek yogurt sorbet; the refreshing almond and cherry semifreddo with almond cherry nougatine, pomegranate, luxardo cherries and almond crumble; or an ever-evolving selection of California and Italian cheeses.
  • Olivella’s wine program focuses on the vintages produced in California, although there are some excellent choices from Italy as well. Sommeliers are on hand to help you choose wines to match your meals, and there is a four-course wine-pairing dinner option, too.
  • A well-edited cocktail list includes whimsical-sounding concoctions like A Clockwork Orange (gin, Campari, vermouth, basil, balsamic), and the spirits list is a generous collection of top-shelf whiskeys, tequilas and more.
Things to Know
  • Olivella’s valley-to-table culinary program is supported by the local Ojai valleys, ranches, orchards, farms and ocean waters. It embraces the seasonal whims of the region, focusing on the bounty of year-round produce provided by the California Central Coast.
  • In general, staff members are friendly and knowledgeable. They don’t hover but appear just when you need a water glass topped off or a napkin replaced, and they give you as much time as you need to make your menu choices and to enjoy your meal.
  • If you wish to eat outdoors, Olivella’s dual patios offer alfresco dining with glimpses of the Ojai Valley’s legendary and romantic “pink moment” sunsets.
Private dining
Getting There
905 Country Club Road, Ojai, California 93023
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