Archive | November, 2009

The Glass Menagerie – Ojai Arts Center

2 Nov

After dinner at the Ranch House we went to see a local production of The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams. It was produced at the Ojai Arts Center.

It’s not an easy play to pull off without it seeming melodramatic. The play’s dated, to me, but that’s understandable – it was first produced in 1944. Williams could be over the top with his drama, which is why I say it’s hard to pull it off without making a contemporary audience laugh where they’re not supposed to. Overall it was good and I like supporting local establishments.

Ranch House restaurant – Ojai, CA – MadeMarkTravel video

2 Nov

The best dining in Ojai, and among the best in southern California.

Ranch House restaurant in Ojai, CA – five yums

2 Nov

We had dinner on Friday night at the Ranch House restaurant. Founded in the 1950s, the Ranch House has long been considered Ojai’s finest restaurant, and for good reason. I’ve eaten there many times over the 30+ years I’ve been going to California (moved there in 1978, lived in Los Angeles for 12 years before relocating to NYC in 1993).

The atmosphere is splendid, with gardens and outdoor seating. The live music was sublime, perfect background sound without intruding. The food and service are impeccable, and I can’t go to Ojai without eating here. My sister had sea bass, Frank had tournedos of beef, and I had the New York steak. Everything at the Ranch House is near perfect, earning it my first five yum rating. Superb!

Solvang, CA – MadeMarkTravel video

2 Nov

Solvang – a little bit of Denmark in southern California. Great for a morning or afternoon trip when you’re in the Santa Barbara area.

Solvang, CA

2 Nov

On Friday we drove to Solvang, a small town 38 miles from Santa Barbara. Founded in 1911 by a group of Danish educators, it started attracting tourists as a sort of Little Denmark in the 1940s. They’ve kept it that way to give it a niche flavor, and we enjoyed walking around the shops. There’s a large windmill, in case you didn’t get the Denmark theme. We had lunch at the Red Viking, which serves a smorgasbord as well as Danish entrees and sandwiches. Definitely worth a morning or afternoon trip, especially if coupled with Santa Barbara or somewhere else not far. (We drove the 75 miles from Ojai and came straight back, not sure it’s a good single 75-mile trip, but a fun place to visit in your travels.) See video below.
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