Once again, I've just had the most lovely lunch at one of Ventura's little hidden gems: Main Course California. In preparation for the launch of their happy hour and dinner service, they have just expanded their space, both the indoors and out, to make room for more tables. The place is still cuter than cute- with its watermelon inspired color scheme (Chef Main says she had a moment of style inspiration) of red walls, lime green accents, and glossy black furniture. The menu is still an awe-inspiring array of local freshness, the tomato soup is still the best I've ever tasted, and the flavors just mind-blowing.
What's new is the Happy Hour from 4-6pm, Monday through Saturday where all of their wines are half off. And starting today, they will be open for dinner from 5-8pm, Wednesday through Saturday. Oh, and now they are also open for lunch on Saturdays and selling some of their goodies at the Ojai Farmers Market on Sundays.
If you're not familiar with Main Course, what you need to know is that head Chef Rachel Main works her tail off sourcing the freshest of ingredients from local farmers and then working with them to really let the ingredients shine. She also uses only grass fed beef and free range chicken, and you can taste the difference when you try her burger with red onion marmalade or chicken sandwich with roasted peppers, onion sprouts, and chimichurri sauce. Her food is simple yet divine, and for me, eating at Main Course often borders on a religious experience. It was the first time I went (see the peanut chicken salad above), and has been ever since.
Some of the treats on their new dinner menu for this week (the menu changes frequently based on whats in season) include chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped dates, an herb risotto with curry roasted cauliflower, spinach, and meyer lemon confit, and a Watkins Ranch oxtail stew with parmesan polenta. You can finish your meal off with a white chocolate mascarpone mousse or champagne flourless cake with coconut whipped cream. If I could offer one piece of advice to everyone who lives in Ventura it is this: get in your car or get on your bike and make your way to Main Course California...you won't regret it.