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los angeles, California
April 24, 2004
There are many reviews for Suzanne's Cuisine here, so my additions are:
We arrived in Ojai early Friday afternoon and went to the restaurant at 5:30 - when they first open for dinner - expecting that the place would be empty. In fact, the opposite was true. Every seat was taken and they were booked for dinner the entire weekend. We were finally able to get reservations for late lunch Sunday after saying we'd take any table at any time because we'd heard so much about the place and REALLY wanted to eat there. So, even though we didn't get to eat dinner, the staff was great and accommodating.
The menu is not that remarkable.
I was very disappointed on Sunday when I finally had a menu in my hand. Caesar Salad with grilled chicken. I was underwhelmed. An $8 Grilled Cheese sandwich. That better be really great cheese.
The decor is not that remarkable.
Several people have noted the 'romantic' ambience. I saw plastic chairs. There were candles on the table but... I didn't see any ambience of any sort anywhere. I actually drove past the place twice Friday night because I was expecting someplace that looked more special. It's not unattractive - it's just not what I expected from reading others’ reviews. Though perhaps they were overbooked because of Art Detour's popularity and had added extra tables?
The food is beyond good - it makes up for everything.
So, yes they have an $8 grilled cheese, but the cheese really was special and so was the bread, and so must have been the butter or olive oil they grilled it in. They could have charged more and I wouldn't have said a word. Between six of us we ordered about half the lunch menu and everything tasted perfect - the best salads, the best bread, the best omelet, wine, everything perfect. The creme brulee tasted the way you think it should taste and was delightful -- not the way it is usually served (overly refrigerated, overly thick and bland). My favorite was the Southwest Salad with brown rice, green chilis and smoked turkey.
So you don't drive past Suzanne's too, it's a few blocks west of downtown on the main street.
From journal Ojai Art Detour Weekend
July 30, 2001
This restaurant has elegant décor with indoor and outdoor dining available. Lush greenery greets you at the doorway, and ivy decorates the cash register and hostess’ station. The outdoor dining is covered with an awning to keep the sun out of your face. You’ll enjoy the trickling sounds of a fountain and the sights of an herb and flower garden. Small vases with flowers add a nice touch to the linen covered tables.
The French food is well prepared and individually made. There are no vats of pre-made sauces and the wait is worth it. A selection of different breads and butter keep you tied over until your meal arrives. Ice water with lemon slices is continually refilled throughout the meal. I chose a sandwich of grilled sour dough bread with a huge Portobello mushroom, fresh spinach and melted Swiss cheese with a mustard and dill spread accompanied by a small Caesar salad. Other meals offered included crepes, quiche, angle hair pasta and escargot. The service is prompt, courteous and non-intrusive.
seal beach, California
January 4, 2001
From journal The Spa Close to Santa Barbara