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Azu Mediterranean Restaurant and Tapas Bar

457 E Ojai Ave., Ojai CA 93023 [map]

Azu Mediterranean Restaurant and Tapas Bar has an extensive tapas menu with an eclectic blend of Spanish, Italian, Moroccan and Greek cuisine, an expansive wine list, featuring 25 wines by the glass, and a vast spirit selection. Fresh home made gelato, and a private dining room for large parties.

Lunch - Tues-Sat 12-4pm
Dinner - Daily at 5:30pm
Happy Hour - Daily 4-7pm

Reviews from Publications and Diners

On Memorial Day weekend 2008 I got married at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. In planning our rehearsal dinner, we chose to have it at Azu and it was one of the highlights of the weekend. The food is outstanding and the staff and management are extremely accommodating and easy to work with. I would HIGHLY recommend Azu for a party or even a simple dinner as the restaurant provides a memorable dining experience.

Recently I planned a wine-tasting dinner for fifteen of my friends. I was extremely fortunate that I chose to have it at AZU in Ojai. Chef/owner Laurel was fantastic to work with. She designed a wonderful menu to compliment our wines -- Mushroom ravioli, gazpacho soup, Oso Bucco - all delicious and memorable. Everything was prepared with care using the freshest ingredients. The setting and service stood up to the menu. Our event could not have gone any better. Outstanding!
Bill Burke

My husband and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary by dining at Azu! What a total taste treat. It was a magical night. The food, drink and service beyond wonderful, especially the filet mignon and the chili rellenos tapas. A wonderful menu. The most difficult part was making choices!

Want a special dining treat?? Check out Azu in Ojai (sounds lyrical).

Great salads, tapas and excellent variety of entres.

Fine dining at reasonable prices in a relaxed atmosphere. It doesn't get much better than that!!

We live in Thousand Oaks and make several trips to Ojai during the year. We always make it a point to dine at AZU. The owner/chef, Laurel Moore serves up the best tapas, salads, and drinks in town, all at a very reasonable price. It should be a recommended stop on anyones visit to Ojai.

We have many restaurants in the Montecito/Santa Barbara area but, when I want to have a really great restaurant experience, I travel a short distance to Azu in Ojai.

I love to dine - enjoy something other than standard restaurant faire and choose from a great wine list. Azu never fails to deliver.

The owner, Laurel, and the staff at Azu are always great. They are very attentive, offer special seasonal items, and suggest great wines that we have never tried and always enjoy thoroughly.

The salads are the BEST ever! They are generous and always perfectly fresh - my favorite is the Ensalada de Cabra. I love ALL the Tapas - the Roasted Beets and the Stuffed Dates are unforgettable!

The entree selection is always my toughest choice. I have tried most everything and I have never been disappointed. Their fish is always unbelievably fresh and their preparations are exquisite. The lamb is another "don't miss" entree item.

Save room for gelato! The flavors are very innovative (think chili-mango or chocolate blood orange) and they are made fresh at Azu.

Have a drink at the bar after (or before) your meal. Full bar and fabulous bartender with creative drinks to compliment a meal.

Had a special event at Azu - about 70 people attended in back/private room and patio. Food, wine and staff were all great and received nothing but rave reviews. Wonderful atmosphere - a definite "thumbs up."

My dining experiences at Azu have been nothing less than exceptional. Azu is charming. It offers unique dishes and fine wine at a reasonable price and provides an atmosphere fit for a casual or fancy dining experience. I frequently visit Azu and have celebrated two birthdays there. The wait-staff is attentive and the owner is personable. Although all the dishes have been exceptional, I recommend the stuffed dates, chilean sea bass and the berry tartlet!

AZU SETS THE BAR! As a NYC native, I am intimately familiar with the cost fine dining and I found Azu to be quite a deal for a top-notch "dining experience". It would suffice to say that the food is incredible, the menu is original, and the presentation is unique. But, it would be an injustice if I didn't mention the attentive wait-staff, and the intimate atmosphere that complete the "dining experience." This restaurant is more that just great food, but if you are having trouble deciding, you won’t go wrong with the delicious tapas, the filet, or the baby pork chops (my favorite). I recommend finishing with the chocolate truffle cake or cappuccino cake. Anytime my personal or professional travels bring me to Santa Barbara, Ventura, or even LA, I always budget time for a drive to Ojai to visit Azu!

We travel to Ojai frequently and wouldn't miss a trip to Azu. We love the quality of the food and the delightful staff. Great Gelato too! No complaints here. Prices seem in line with this caliber of dining. Love the bars and bar backs. We have attended private parties and found them very well done. Give it a try, you won't be disappointed.

The best restaurant in the world is home cooking, the next best is AZU. Quality ingredients, enthusiasm for the eating experience, honest bar and an excellent wine list.

At home we make what we think is the best Caesar Salad, we’ve found another and it’s from AZU. No mayonnaise, real honest to goodness cool and crisp greens, fresh Spanish Olive oil, garlic, anchovy’s, Lemon, spices and freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan. Like any really good restaurant who cares about their cuisine, AZU makes theirs from scratch and sometimes is takes time for it to come out of the kitchen, being that we love our food to be prepared properly the wait is always worth it. At home a proper meal takes hours to prepare properly, if you expect less from a serious restaurant, you should eat fast food.

Up here in Ojai we don’t have an abundance of great food, or an abundance of experienced waitpersons. So AZU stands out like an oasis.

If you’re here for a visit, we suggest that you book a reservation and enjoy your visit, the food is consistently great.

Bruce and Marie Botnick

I have been eating at AZU since it opened a number of years to go. I always find the food to be excellent, the service to be good and the ambiance exciting. The stuffed dates, the calamari bilbao,and the finnochio salad are my favorites. I admire that this family owned restaurant has the insight to listen to their customers and make changes accordingly. I have watched this restaurant morph from one style to another and each time the change is smooth and transparent leaving the Ojai community with just what they were asking for. I highly recommend AZU for a memorable dining experience

We are always sad to see a poor review for our family owned restaurant. We try very hard, but In some cases there is just no pleasing people.

Our portions are large, and much larger then those you would get in Spain or any major city. Unfortunately, some patrons can not understand anything other than the american style dining experience, where you get 2 pounds of pasta in a bowl. We firmly believe that quality counts, and quality costs, both ourselves, and the valued patron.

We love feeding people, and creating a "High End" atmosphere for Diners who enjoy treating themselves. Unfortunately, we also take a lot of abuse in the course of our business from people that simply won't understand that, sometimes you have to wait ten minutes for a table. Sometimes a charge will be attached once you've finished your 4th basket of high end locally baked bread between 2 people. Sometimes food takes 15 minutes to cook when it's being cooked fresh. For these things our wait staff and manager have been screamed at, threatened, had bread thrown at them, and been otherwise abused on a regular basis, only to find that these people have then come and posted a review about how unreasonable our service is.

If you like fine dining, and know roughly what it costs to eat well, anywhere outside of Ojai, then please do come and enjoy Azu.

If you are looking for larger portions and and lesser prices, Carrows is three blocks west of Azu on Main street.

No consistency. Good food most of the time and best when the owner is present. Service has been anything from great to horrible. On one occasion we sat in the waiting area for 20 minutes looking for service from a cocktail waitress before leaving and going to the Ojai Valley Inn. On another occasion - showed up on a Saturday evening at 8:15 pm and although approx 30 people sitting at tables we were told they were no longer serving - even though we could see a waitress taking an order. The explanation was that the owner was not there so they were closing early!
Have noticed a large turnover in employees. Give it a try. Caesar Salad, Tapas, Filet, thumbs up

We were very disappointed in Azu. The service was poor. The food is decent and the ambience, cozy and relaxed. The bacon-wrapped scallops were delicious, but the appetizer only included two of them. The Caesar salad was very generous, and the smoked salmon topping really added to the great flavor. The very small portion of Chilean sea bass had a very fishy taste and smell, not quite fresh, and was overly salted. The mashed potatoes were rather mushy and also too salty. We did enjoy the curly carrots and other grilled vegetables on the dish. We ordered a side of spinach, but only received a two- tablespoon portion, for the full side dish price. Our server seemed to disappear (or went on break) for most of our time here. Another waiter had to bring us some of our food. Halfway through the meal I reminded our server of the wine we ordered, but it never came. They also appeared to be rather removed and uninvolved, uninterested in their job, with a poor attitude. We informed our second waiter about the stale fish, but they (and the manager or owner at the bar) seemed quite unconcerned. This could be a great restaurant if they put more emphasis on customer service and adjusted the portions to be more in line with this type of restaurant and price range. It was definitely not a good value, considering the poor quality of the entrée and the service.

Love Sundays at Azu with Gina between 12 and 2. Good eats and bloodys.

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