The Two Hour Holiday

When people ask me why I love Central California* so much, given that it is so different from the urban areas in which I grew up (Los Angeles) and spent most of my adult life (mostly Beijing, some L.A.), I seem to come up with a different reason every time.

Sometimes those reasons are better shown than said, and as Exhibit A I offer Boccali’s. Ojai’s delightful combination of an upscale pizza joint and roadside fruit stand soothes the palate with fully flavored comfort food even as it pleases the eye with views of citrus orchards girt with soaring mountains.

Washing down fresh pasta with a local vintage as you take in the surroundings, it takes very little imagination to transport yourself to an older time in California, thence to somewhere in Tuscany or Catalonia, and back again. A meal here is not lunch: it is a two hour vacation that will leave you sated, refreshed, and wishing away any thoughts of the road ahead.

 

 

 

* See my definition here.

June Sky

It’s still May, but it looks like June gloom.

The coastal eddy is hard at work, keeping temperatures comfortable along the central coast. It was 92F in the upper Ojai Valley yesterday, the first no-bullshit summer day of the year, so watching the thermometer on the car drop 25 degrees in 15 minutes as I drove down the canyon to the coast reminded me why seaside real estate still commands a premium in our coastal desert.