Azu, which opened in 2001, is pretty OG when it comes to the dining scene in Ojai—it’s a town that has seen its fair share of spots that come and go. Part of the appeal is its prime spot on a well-trafficked stretch of Ojai Avenue, but also, the consistently solid Mediterranean-inflected menu, which includes fattoush salad, chorizo stuffed dates, and vegan paella. As a nice touch, even the cocktail menu and wine pairings take into account area purveyors: local produce informs the bar menu (see: Farmers’ Market martini), and Chef Damien Halderman works closely with Ojai winemakers Bruce Chernof and Dan Garcia to team craft wines with his dishes.

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