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Hozy's Grill - Santa Paula Review [Moved from California]


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Hozy's Grill - Santa Paula Review [Moved from California]

glbtrtr | Aug 14, 2006 05:00 AM

Who would have believed hidden in the back streets of Santa Paula is this extremely stylish restaurant called HOZY'S GRILL. I remain at a loss how to best describe it because some aspects could stand a little tweaking, yet to even find it at all in this town not yet fully appreciated for its dining/culinary potential deserves high praise.

Santa Paula is the "citrus (and avocado?) capital of the world" and there needs to be a restaurant that celebrates this long standing agricultural heritage somewhere in this town to make this a foodie destination. Its time will come.

One finds HOZY'S GRILL at the Limoneira Mercantile Hallock Avenue stoplight intersection on Highway 126, head south a block or so on Hallock and turn right on Lemonwood Drive which puts you smack dab in the center of an extremely well landscaped industrial park with lovely creekside views.

There on the right a few blocks down Lemonwood one finds this highly unlikely restaurant with an ambitious schedule serving breakfast, lunch and limited dinner (Wed to Sat, I believe).

Upon entering this extremely well-appointed single room dining room it is hard to believe the shocking combination of yellow, orange, slate and chrome works so well and so tastefully together creating a very pleasing and welcoming ambiance. The serives was thoughtful and attentive and the menu full of intrigue and all a few dollars less than any other more urban location. San Pelligrino is their sparkling water of choice - always a good clue for me. And the wine appeared to be a selective and cared for collection. (Teetotlar here)

The elegant and heavily bound menu carries weekly specials with prices printed, as well as standard entree items and the variety is an interesting mix of some classic Northern Italian, to American, to Pacific Rim to just plain intriguing.

Lavish desserts were presented on a tray which also included a house specialty of almond cake with fresh peaches poached in champage. Does this give you a clue about where the rest of the menu might be going.

The execution and delivery of my entree choice (fettucine alfredo with shrimp) could have been better, companion's choice was veal saltimbocca which he liked a lot - but both dishes suffered under the heat lamps too long as we took our time to savor our appetizer dishes: mine "Hozy's Wedge (iceberg wedge with fresh, fresh tomatos with bacon, sweet onion slivers, blue cheese dressing - rich and powerful, almost a stand alone item) and companion's buttermilk battered thin sweet onion rings (again rich for an appetizer but delicious)

There was a lot more to try on this menu and I gather it will be a bit of a hit and miss establishment. Yet the ambiance and the ambition of the place will never be hit or miss. It is definitely a hit and I know it will get better with each visit. Just a delight and total surprise to find in this sleepy town. Enagaging clientele that seemed to savor the dining adventure and willing to develop loyalty to this very unique place.

Love to hear other's reactions.

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