The following content is created in consultation with VenturaCountyWest. It does not reflect the work or opinions of NBC Los Angeles' editorial staff. To learn more about VenturaCountyWest, visit VenturaCountyWest.com.
Looking for some of the freshest cuisine in all of Southern California? When it comes to fresh fruits, vegetables and fish, nothing beats the restaurants in VenturaCountyWest. These eateries have a distinct advantage: They are located in the heart of Ventura County’s nearly 100,000 acres of harvested cropland. Fresh produce is literally right next door and a variety of fish and shellfish is brought into Channel Island and Ventura Harbors daily. Here are some finds for food lovers that want to enjoy all the flavors and textures of the freshest of the fresh.
The Waterside Restaurant & Wine Bar in the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard opened late last year and it’s gotten rave reviews for delicious dishes made with produce from nearby farms and fresh fish caught off the coast. Early each Sunday, Waterside chefs visit the adjacent Channel Islands Farmers Market to pick vegetables, fruits, and herbs and then create that day’s seasonal brunch menu, which pairs perfectly with Mimosas. The outdoor patio overlooking the harbor is even dog friendly.
Inside Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard is Tierra Sur, which has garnered the highest ZAGAT ratings of any restaurant within a 40-mile radius. In his inspired New American fare, Head Chef Gabriel Garcia uses only seasonal ingredients sourced fresh from local farmers. Prior to enjoying a tasty meal, plan to sample wines from the Herzog all-kosher winery or watch the wine making process during a mini-winery tour.
Award winning C-Street Restaurant in the Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach features local sustainably harvested seafood, produce, and dairy. Pair entrees with regional wines from Ventura County, Paso Robles, Malibu and Santa Barbara. You’re only steps from the beach, so relax and enjoy.
Inspired by classic French cooking traditions, Chef Gael has personally created the menu items for each dining adventure at the French Bulldog Bistro in Camarillo, from casual lunches to elegant dinners. The menu includes local fresh and organic items as well as signature craft beer from Ventura’s Surf Brewery.
Also Not to Be Missed:
Channel Island Harbor/Ventura Harbor
March through Early April
In one of the most active whale-watching seasons yet, there is still time to see the majestic gray whales travel south during a whale watching excursion. Leave from Channel Islands or Ventura Harbors. Island Packers or Channel Islands Sportfishing.
Ventura Fairgrounds/Ventura Raceway
Season begins March 1
The Ventura Raceway kicks off its season on March 1. Races are on most Saturday evenings. Plan to cheer on sprint cars, hobby stocks and sport compacts as they duel it out around the track.
26th Annual Ventura County St. Patrick’s Day Parade - Downtown Ventura
Don a leprechaun costume or paint your face green (you’ll fit right in) at the 26th Annual Ventura County St. Patrick's Day Parade in downtown Ventura. Once the parade is over, check out Dargan's Irish Pub & Restaurant, right on the parade route on Main St. Try some shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash or corned beef and cabbage to get into the Irish spirit. Fun for the whole family.
Oxnard Performing Arts Center
March 21 8 p.m.
Don’t miss New West Symphony’s “Verdi Requiem” with Casey Candlebat. An hour prior to the performance, attend “Hear & Now Live,” a discussion about the evening’s music and guest artist.
For a list of hotels, restaurants, and things to do in Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura, visit VenturaCountyWest.