Restaurant Spotlight: the Incredible Nocciola in Ojai, California

Nocciola is one of these places I’m willing to drive quite far for the food. Thankfully, this amazing gem of a restaurant is located in Ojai, California, only 30 minutes away from where Nick and I live (which is in Oxnard, in case you were wondering).

Housed inside of a beautiful historic building right in the heart of old town Ojai, Nocciola (which means hazelnut in Italian) features authentic Italian Tuscan cuisine. Having spent a lot of time in Italy I was elated at Nocciola because it felt like I was right back in Tuscany. Everything here is made from scratch and from mostly organic and local produce. Many of the menu items (like their Burrata di Puglia) are flown from Italy, while the pasta and bread are made fresh daily on premises. The wine selection is incredible in itself.  The sommelier (the lovely owner, Pietro) has carefully put together quite an impressive wine list. As for dessert, wow, those pastry puffs with hazelnut filling were simply divine. I’d better stop writing and just share our Nocciola experience via photography. I captioned the food photos below.

Many thanks to Jerry, the manager, and Pietro, the owner, for letting me pretty much interrogate them about all of the menu items. I have to mention that prior to our degustation experience here Nick & I had visited Nocciola on our own (that’s how we discovered it in the first place) and the service is outstanding here. Staff is warm and kind and make you feel like you’re their long time friends!


The most incredible Prosciutto di Parma (from Parma!) and Burrata di Puglia (from Puglia)! I think this is THE best I’ve ever had!
(this is half portion)

Fresh bread

Pan-roasted quail, polenta, porcini, marsala reduction
(this is half portion)

Roasted beets, hazelnut, goat cheese, garlic-parsley aioli (this is half portion)20190326_18380020190326_185223

Pietro suggested this wine, one of his favorites, and it was absolutely wonderful:20190326_18534220190326_18540920190326_19111220190326_19132620190326_19163720190326_19182220190326_19191720190326_192017


Risotto with porcini mushrooms and asparagus (this is half portion)20190326_192046

Ravioli (this is half portion)20190326_192632

Lasagna with wagyu beef (this is half portion)20190326_192945

My artsy shot 🙂

Tagliatelle, slow roasted venison ragú (this is half portion)20190326_195227

Amaretto semifreddo + pastry puffs with hazelnut filling. OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!20190326_201534


And here Nick and I are together 🙂
Marina and Nick

After dinner we took a stroll in old town Ojai. So beautiful!

I hope you enjoyed! I can’t wait to return to Nocciola. While this dining experience was complimentary (many thanks again to Pietro, the owner), all views and photos are entirely my own. I stand by every word – as always.

Any comments and thoughts? What are your favorite Italian restaurants in SoCal? What about historic places? Please let me know so I can mark it on GoogleMaps for future travels! Also.. if you find any typos, please let me know. I am obsessed with proper grammar and spelling but…. I type too damn fast and sometimes simply space out:)



  1. Amazing photography, my friend! I’ll keep following your posts, as always. I love Ojai but have never been to this restaurant. It looks great


  2. You talked me into visiting. I have to check it out. Your words and photos as always are excellent. I was wondering…when I visit should I mention I saw your review and that it encouraged me to visit? I mean, that’s what its all about,,,sharing a place you discovered so others will visit too. Great review Marina. And you and Nick look radiant in these photos!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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