June 16 2016

Alma’s Guides to Ojai and Los Alamos Daytrips

Los Angeles-Guides
As the partners behind one of LA’s most acclaimed little restaurants, Chef Ari Taymor and co-owner Ashleigh Parsons of Alma at The Standard keep very busy. In addition to garnering the acclaim of foodie's food critic Jonathan Gold, the James Beard Awards, Bon Appétit, the Los Angeles Times, and Food & Wine, they recently extended their run as restaurant-in-residence at The Standard, Hollywood. That means you can continue to partake in their exquisitely fresh, imaginative, seasonal dishes, or if you haven’t yet, you’ve still got your chance. 

To keep the creative juice flowing, Taymor and Parsons have mastered the art of the "weekender"–a one- or two-day trip away from the city to refresh. We asked the brilliant culinary minds behind Alma to tell us about their favorite quick respites from big city life. Here is Ashleigh's guide to Los Alamos and Ari's guide to Ojai. Not surprisingly, food and drinks are at the top of both of their itineraries. 

ASHLEIGH PARSON'S GUIDE TO LOS ALAMOS
COOKBOOK
Pack up early in the morning to escape the city. Stop at Cookbook in Echo Park, a market that features the very best produce Southern California has to offer. Purchase a picnic of freshly baked bread, soft cheese, and seasonal fruits and vegetables.  
RINCON BEACH

Drive straight to Rincon Beach–a state beach along the 101. An hour and a half from LA, Rincon is tranquil, spacious, and dog-friendly.


LES MARCHANDS WINE BAR

As the sun begins to fall into the water, pack up your things, drive north to Santa Barbara, and stop at Les Marchands Wine Bar for a glass of natural, French wine. The spot is located in a small mecca of adorable spots, and I appreciate the marble tables and rustic design.


THE ALAMO MOTEL
Before sun falls, drive to Los Alamos and check into The Alamo Motel. Shelter Social Club (known for Ojai Rancho Inn) recently renovated this spot, and it feels simultaneously antiquated and modern. The design is simple with blonde wood, white walls, and a claw foot bath tub, which exudes a sense of luxury.

Enjoy a glass of Muni Muni Wine at The Alamo Motel Tasting Room Friday to Sunday. These wines are light and refreshing and made right in Santa Barbara.


BELL STREET FARM

I enjoy a late dinner, so once it gets dark, make your way across the street to Bell Street Farm for a light, quiet dinner. Everything is close in Los Alamos as the city population is fewer than 2000. Embrace the small town vibe.



BOB'S WELL BREAD BAKERY

Rise early and embrace the sounds of nature. There’s not too much going on in Los Alamos, which can feel strange in contrast to the inherent noise of Los Angeles. Indulge in the relaxing mood and make your way down the street to Bob’s Well Bread Bakery. Bob is known for his gluten-free centennial loaf, and as someone with Celiac’s Disease, I can say that this is the most delicious gluten-free bread on the market. Laze about at the café with a cup of coffee or two.

You’ll want to avoid any traffic to maintain your relaxed state of mind, so checkout by 11am.

Feeling refreshed, rested and, rejuvenated, drive back to the City of Angels with the Pacific to your right and the mountains to your left.

ARI TAYMOR'S GUIDE TO OJAI
MATILIJA HOT SPRINGS

The Matilija Hot Springs are tucked away at the edge of the Los Padres Forest. They are semi-secret, and I'm not going to be the one to get in trouble for giving away the location. If you do enough research on the Internet or make a local friend, its not to hard to find the way.


OJAI RANCHO INN
The Ojai Rancho Inn is a really rustic and comfortable place to stay. The price point is great, and it's a very welcoming home base for adventures.
FARMER AND THE COOK
At Farmer and the Cook, you can find Mexican food made mostly vegetarian and vegan. It's really clean and delicious, and the ingredients are pristine. The food is hearty and great before a hike or and adventure to the ocean.
OJAI ICE CREAM

Go to Ojai Ice Cream for old-fashioned ice cream and fudge. It's got that classic American small town vibe, and feels like a throwback to simpler times. The staff is really enthusiastic and everything is delicious

 

OJAI DEER LODGE
Ojai Deer Lodge is really the only nightlife to speak of in Ojai, but it's great. It's got a huge outdoor patio, live music time-to-time, and an extremely eclectic group of people with a mix of locals and weekenders up from LA. It's a good place to have a drink and look at the stars.
KNEAD BAKING CO.
Knead Baking Co. is a great place to start a day with their really delicious pastries, egg dishes, and sandwiches. It's right in the middle of town, too, so it's nice for a lazy morning wandering around.
OJAI FARMER'S MARKET
The Standard
The Standard
Ojai Farmer's Market: The best produce in Southern California, period. Ojai has the best land practices, the best farms, and the best farmers. Everything here is going to be the best version of itself.
LOS PADRES FOREST
Breathtaking is the only word for Los Padres Forest. This valley is one of the most special ecosystems in the world, and this forest gives you a little taste of what it must have been like before we got there. It's pristine and has to be seen to be believed.