By R.S. Rodriguez
I’m not a professional food critic, I only manage to play one periodically online. As such, here are the food joints in Oxnard CA I tend to patronize.
Favorite Mexican spots:
I have two. I had three. I don’t go to many Mexican restaurants, as my mother is quite the cook. I used to wander over to Sal’s south of Five Points on Oxnard Boulevard. Word on the street is that after his passing, his family closed shop. I enjoyed Sal’s and his personal touch of greeting all customers personally as they walked into his establishment.
Around the time of his passing, Cabo’s opened on the other side of Five Points. It’s affordable, the menu has many offerings, the food is authentic-tasting and the portions are generous. I am particularly fond of eating there during lunch. The majority of the clientele consistently seem satisfied and there is a good vibe roaming about the place.
It’s a nice touch to walk into Cabo’s and see someone making corn tortillas, hand-made. They taste great when ordering fish tacos from their lunch menu. I also enjoy their chicken (con chile verde) enchiladas with a side of rice and frijolitos. Another yummy lunch-time dish is the shrimp enchiladas. I have had them a few times and the shrimp have always been tasty and fresh.
If you have the desire and happen to wander over a la cantina, I recommend “una casuela.” It’s quite a tasty concoction of various alcoholic offerings in a traditional tiny Mexican stew-pan or cup.
Taqueria el Tapatio No. 2 (northwest corner of Ventura Road and Fifth St.). The carne asada burritos are delicious and filling. The cooks take their time to prepare the “burros” and wrap them properly. The ingredients used within make for a splendid lunch or evening experience. (I think the same can be said for all of their burritos). Another of my favorite burritos there are “al pastor”, a spicy pork. Also recommended are their “Super Nachos” and their shrimp cocktails. On a nice day, one can enjoy any of their offerings while sitting outside in the patio area and watch planes coming in for landings at the Oxnard Airport.
Sushi Hanada, on Channel Islands Blvd, Port Hueneme.
By far my favorite sushi restaurant in Oxnard (though it is actually located in Port Hueneme). The owner of the restaurant, Chef Hanada, employs the traditional Tokyo sushi tradition (re:, don’t request more wasabi!). He drives to the Los Angeles Fish Market daily to select the catch he brings back to his restaurant. One can appreciate his efforts when visiting the place, as the sushi has always tasted ocean-fresh and delicious. The octopus, uni, handrolls, yellow tail, toro, etc have never disappointed. If you’re fond of sushi yet have not paid Chef Hanada a visit, it behooves you to do so.
As a native of Oxnard, I have had the opportunity to travel to Italy once, New York City four times and Chicago many times. Needless to say, the pizzas in those places are incredible. It’s at times difficult to be satisfied with a good pizza in Oxnard once one has had authentic New York-style in Manhattan or deep-dish Chicago pizza. Nonetheless, I have two pizza places in town I am most fond of: BJ’s Restaurant & Brew-house (Esplanade Drive) and Topper’s.
When I visit BJ’s, I do so during Happy Hour. I do so because by doing so, the restaurant’s mini-pizzas are half price. I recommend the BJ’s Favorite (the works); BJ’s Classic Combo (pepperoni, sausage and mushrooms); or the Sweet Pig (pineapple, seasoned tomatoes and oven-roasted ham). Combined with one of their in-house beers from their on-sight brewery, I seem to walk away after a meal quite satisfied.
Topper’s. Simply put, my favorite pizza delivery in Oxnard. Usually fresh and hot. I haven’t eaten in their restaurant in a very long time but again, when we as a family desire pizza, we get Topper’s on the horn.