When Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives host Guy Fieri swung into The Kitchen, it was the lamb burger that caught his eye—a 6-ounce, well-seasoned patty topped with red-pepper relish and placed between two freshly baked buns made onsite. These straight-from-the-oven baked goods are a part of The Kitchen's charm, its bustling bakery sharing space with the dining room and craft-beer bar.
The meals crafted in that kitchen include the Cuban sandwich, pulled pork and sliced pit ham on grilled bakery bread. The hearty meatloaf plate skips the sandwiching in favor of a housemade barbecue glaze and pairs with frothy brews.
In fact, one of the libations from an impressive roster of craft beers would be enough to draw brew-lovers to its bar, but The Kitchen takes things a step further, hosting a monthly beer-brewing class led by the restaurant's own brewmaster.
Sugar Beets Restaurant & Bar is a fusion restaurant in more ways than one. The space itself wears many hats: downtown eatery, bar, private-party venue, and, on Thursdays through Saturdays, nightclub. Similarly, the eatery’s menus aren't limited to one style. Described as eclectic California cuisine, the fare fuses west-coast flavors with international dishes. At dinnertime, a bed of Israeli couscous cradles grilled eggplant and sun-dried tomatoes, and a bacon-wrapped filet mignon gets a flavor boost from roasted red-pepper sauce. Lunchtime takes a more casual approach, with pasta tossed in tequila-lime sauce, strip-steak hoagies with chipotle mayo, and huevos rancheros that call the chef “dude” instead of “sir.” The restaurant also serves brunch on Sundays and serenades Thursday- and Friday-night diners with live music.
For more than a decade, Bridget Malmstedt worked as a master aesthetician at a luxury resort. Currently she flaunts that expertise inside FaceForward Skin and Body Care?a Victorian home repurposed as a salon. These historic surroundings are a charming antithesis to Bridget's services, which draw on all the latest approaches to skincare. Her facials exfoliate pores and help clear up acne and signs of aging, and her customized peels minimize the appearance of wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. When she isn't treating skin, Bridget soothes muscles by blending Swedish and deep-tissue massage techniques. Her enviable skill set even extends to eyebrows, which she shapes into perfect arches for clients who want to look sophisticated or into perfect umlauts for clients who want to look Danish.
At Java Joe's, guests sip freshly made coffee drinks and graze baked goods, rummage through a collection of eclectic clothing and merchandise, and tap toes to live tunes. Baristas blend aromatic shots of espresso with frothy milk riddled with chocolaty notes to create a 16- or 20-ounce café mocha ($3.85–$4.25). Utilitarian cups of joe ($1.95 for 16 oz.; $2.25 for 20 oz.) fill mugs for on-the-go sippers and bulk beans ($13.95/lb.) allow customers to bring robust flavors and caffeine-jolts home. Pluck a pastry from a bakery filled with treats, such as scones ($2.45), chocolate-filled croissants ($2.95), and cheesecakes ($3.75) that quench food cravings and hush grumbling tummies like a swallowed Paul Simon 8-track.
A frequent finalist for Best Comedy Club according to Ventura County Reporter's readers, Ventura Improv Company offers the only improv comedy in Ventura and has been eliciting chortles and guffaws with family-friendly farce for the past 21 years. The VIC's veteran comedic combatants perform unscripted comedy through scenes, games, and music created on the spot. The VIC performs shows such as Spontaneous Broadway, a full-length musical whose plot is conceived through audience suggestions, and TheatreSports Team Match, a two-team battle where competitors perform a challenge set by the host.