Oxnard, CA – Just a short jaunt up the coast from Los Angeles, visitors are discovering the many tastes of Oxnard. From fresh seafood to savory Mexican fare, to an array of international cuisine, foodies will find numerous options to satisfy the palate.
Oxnard’s rich agricultural heritage sets the stage for freshness and farm-to-table offerings at many of the restaurants located throughout the city. Michelle Kenney, Executive Chef and author at La Dolce Vita Restaurant is an example of how passion creates inspirational dishes. Chef Kenney prepares most of her cuisine that is generated from family recipes, which fill the pages of her cookbook. The restaurant located in the McGrath House at historic Heritage Square in Downtown Oxnard, provides a warm and homey atmosphere as well a fun spot to gather. The 1901 Speakeasy Lounge was recently added featuring a Prohibition-themed vibe with a mix of specialty cocktails to match.
More unique places to dine can be found throughout Downtown Oxnard. Fresh & Fabulous is one of those finds. Owner and chef, Magda Weydt brings a breakfast and lunch menu to the table using the finest ingredients and traditional methods to produce artisanal breads, gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads and soups. A wide selection of breakfast items includes homemade quiche, tasty omelets, and baked goods, all made from scratch.
Starting in April, Downtown Oxnard will welcome back Food Trucks, the first Thursday of the month from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The mobile buffets feature a variety of savory and sweet selections from some of the most popular gourmet trucks in Ventura County.
When that sweet tooth comes calling, Xielo Artisan Desserts, an ethnic bakery in Downtown Oxnard’s historic Woodworth Building has guests swooning for their decedent deserts. Owner, Juan Carlos Ramirez carries on with more than 60 years of family traditions in his artisanal bakery. Family recipes, dating back almost a century, include guava empanadas, jericallas, cactus bread, pecan blossom cookies, and ordered in advance, tres leches cake!
For dining experiences waterside, visitors will find several choices to whet their appetite in and around Channel Islands Harbor. Named by Forbes as one of the 25 best Brazilian restaurants in the United States, Moqueca Brazilian Cuisine features traditional Brazilian home cooking. Owner, Gloria Sarcinelli imports the Moqueca pots from her home city, Vitoria in Espirito Santo. The Moqueca is served on the same clay pots with sides of rice and a thick broth. Guests can pick and choose their selections as well as opt for other choices on the menu. A variety of Brazilian cocktails are also a hit for diners.
From Moqueca, visitors can walk across the way to the Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar, another favorite for both locals and out-of-town guests. Although they have the same name and are not related to each other, Chef Juan Rodriguez and Chef Jeff Rodriguez share a passion for food. They take pride in many of their selections including moussaka, short ribs, and pappardelle pasta with truffle scent. Other guest favorite hits are baby back riblets, slow roasted lamb and shrimp scampi. Weekly specials include Prime Rib Tuesday and Wine Wednesday, where visitors can enjoy a set menu with a variety of options.
Fresh fish directly from the local waters can be found at Fishermen’s Catch, a father-son operation featuring popular menu items such as rich clam chowder and calamari sandwiches. Priced reasonably, the atmosphere is casual and features a seafood market.
An extensive Indian menu with a zest, the Masala Twist is located in the Harbor area. The restaurant offers abundant choices on many of the nation’s popular dishes.
Considered to be one of the favorite breakfast stops in Ventura County, the historic Mrs. Olson’s is another harborside choice with panoramic views of the water. Guests will find all the classics – country potatoes, pancakes, chilaquiles and breakfast burritos, while relaxing and watching paddle boarders and kayakers cruise by.
Craving ribs? CJ’s Barbecue, located near Channel Islands Harbor on Victoria Avenue, delivers with its mouthwatering Southern-style ribs, wings, burgers and more. Owned by a local resident with ties to Mississippi, it’s the place to find the real deal.
Utilizing farm-to-table inspiring dishes full of flavor, Chef Gabe Garcia at Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars heads up the five-star Zagat rated restaurant. Visitors can enjoy wine tasting skillfully paired with an all kosher gourmet and innovative menu. Some of Chef Garcia’s top favorite dishes include Lamb Chorizo con Huevo and a Farfalle served with beef neck ragu, grilled broccolini and toasted pine nuts.
Oxnard is fortunate to be home to a number of delicious Mexican Restaurants. One of those is Cabo Seafood Grill & Cantina located along Oxnard Boulevard. The family-friendly restaurant serves fresh hand-made tortillas along with authentic Mexican cuisine. Diners will also find a full menu complete with camarones, seafood, parrilladas and specialties of the house such as Chile Verde and Bistec Ranchero. Also keep a look out for Cabo’s award-winning salsa and the tasty guacamole prepared table side. Other great choices include Francisco’s Mexican Food, a casual neighborhood dining spot with authentic Mexican cuisine and Mi Pueblo Mexican Grill, complete with homemade tamales and full menu of all the favorites.
Serving the Oxnard community since 1952, Otani’s Restaurant is still going strong. Originally founded by Izzy Otani, the restaurant has involved five generations and is currently run by Karen Otani. The restaurant features Japanese style seafood with a twist of Mexican flair, and many of the dishes are recipes from Great Grandfather Izuto. The fish is fresh and can be purchased direct from the onsite market.
More fresh seafood can be found at Kanaloa Seafood located in an Oxnard’s industrial section of town. Although it doesn’t have the harbor views, guests can be entertained with the observation window looking into the company’s fish processing room. Kanaloa is known for focusing on “responsibly sourced” seafood.
An explosion of tastes from Japanese to Italian to Korean BBQ and more, The Collection at Riverpark provides many culinary options, whatever the preference might be. The first and only public market, The Annex, is also housed at The Collection offering additional eateries and eclectic shops. Two new restaurants are coming to The Collection including The Cheesecake Factory scheduled to open mid-April and Texas de Brazil Steakhouse projected to open in the summer. The Cheesecake Factory will feature all the favorites that the chain is known for, and Texas de Brazil Steakhouse is a haven for meat lovers. Meat is carved tableside and discs are provided to patrons to flip to green when ready for more and red when they have had their fill.
For more information on places to dine, visit the website at www.visitoxnard.com.
About Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau
Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB) is a non-profit organization designed to increase visitor expenditures through transient occupancy tax, and tourism revenue opportunities through the promotion of Oxnard as a premier travel destination. Oxnard is an easy drive up the coast from Los Angeles or from the northern portions of California. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy Oxnard’s uncrowded beaches, explore the many diverse attractions and outdoor adventures that are unique to the area. A wide variety of hotel accommodations are available ranging from mid-priced rooms to oceanfront and seaside settings. For more information, call the Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau at 805-385-7545 or visit the website at www.visitoxnard.com.