Located in the very popular Heritage Square is the one of the best Italian restaurants in Ventura County. Great food in a fun charming atmosphere is what La Dolce Vita has to offer.
They were located in Port Hueneme and moved to this location 5 years ago. All of the buildings in Heritage Square are historic landmarks and were moved from different locations in Ventura County.
This building is the Laurent – Mc Grath House, built in 1901.It is a Colonial Revival home primarily built for Martin Laurent and his wife. The basement, outdoor patio, south extension, and elevator are not original and were added for the use of a restaurant. Heritage Square began in 1985 as this vision preserves the historical and architectural uniqueness of turn-of-the-century Oxnard. It opened in 1991. Through the commitment of some of Oxnard’s, eleven homes, a church, water tower, pump house and storehouse have been moved to a single block and restored to their original condition. The original location was 403 South W. Woodley Road in Oxnard.
The interior is very charming, with yellow walls, cinnamon red ceiling, and café table and chairs. Nice art seascapes, still-life flower with a wrought iron wine cellar in the hallway. There are delicate small tables, the table lamps are different but all with the same lampshade. It is very quaint, with everything being very simple, the perfect backdrop for this spectacular Italian food. Classical, jazz is in the background, and it makes you feel very relaxed.
Here’s what I tried:
Pumpkin Ravioli- topped with Gorgonzola cream sauce, sage, and walnuts. I would just order these by the dozen; the perfect cream accompanied by the lovely pumpkin ravioli, just made my heart melt.
Grilled onion chowder- Marsala infused grilled onions in a sweet cream. Another feat of excellence. How did they come up with this concept? My taste buds were just dancing away, you don’t want this experience to end.
Insalata di Spinachi – baby spinach with house raspberry vinaigrette, mandarin oranges, candied walnuts, and Gorgonzola. I can really say by this point in my meal I realized that everything here at La Dolce Vita is going to be stellar, and I was right. This salad is very simple, but the dressing is what made this stand out for me.
Pasta and Risotto:
Linguini Bolognese – with sausage and beef Bolognese with marinara and finished cream over linguini and topped with Parmesan. Nice linguine highlights this straightforward Bolognese sauce. Very meaty with great tomato flavor.
Linguini – With white clam sauce. There are lots of clams and you can tell it is a very simple sauce of clam juice, butter, garlic and, parsley. If there are other secrets in there I can’t tell, but I enjoyed this fantastic dish.
Seafood Linguini, lots of fresh seafood, scallops, shrimps, clams and mussels ad to the luscious flavor of this great pasta dish.
Seared Ahi – served rare over jasmine rice with Asparagus topped with lemon aioli. The sesame seeds make all the difference in the world; they pop as you eat this perfectly seared Ahi Tuna. The sauce is very subtle but adds to the overall beauty of this dish.
Traditional Tiramisu with Espresso Sauce, simply spectacular!
Pasqua Prosecco, Italy. A lovely light starter to my amazing meal. It went great with the grilled onion chowder.
Chardonnay, Cedar Brook, California- Light and fresh with hints of vanilla, butterscotch, and melon in the aroma. Straw-colored with a smooth, crisp finish.
Chardonnay, Santa Barbara Crossing, Santa Barbara County – Fruit forward with a clean crisp finish that lingers on the plate.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Picket Fence, Alexander Valley- French oak aging contributes vanilla, clove, and hazelnut aromas which create a unique foil for the robust, berry-driven fruit flavors.
Zinfandel, Haraszthy, Lodi- a very approachable wine exhibiting delicious cherry, black fruit flavors and a generous vibrant bouquet. This wine is almost like syrup, rich and elegant, a great addition with the Bolognese.
Owner Michelle Kinney comes from a restaurant business family. Her Mother owned this restaurant before she did. A Southern California native, Michelle went to high school in Arcadia. You can just tell from her no-nonsense personality that she takes great pride in making her customers happy.
La Dolce Vita has gotten their share of awards in these publications: Pacific Coast Business Times, Ventura County Stars, and Talk of the town.
Out of all of my Oxnard dining experiences this one was the best. Even if you want to take a day trip and not spend the night, it is worth the drive!
La Dolce Vita Restaurant – “The Sweet Life”
740 South B. Street
Oxnard, CA. 93030