Most Ventura County Area Coco's and Carrows Locations Closed Last Week

According to Nation's Restaurant News, the new owners of Coco's Bakery and Carrows has closed approximately half of the eateries' locations that were deemed to be underperforming. CVG Facebook readers noted this too and we have confirmed that the following Ventura County locations have been closed:

  • Coco's: Calabasas, Camarillo and Ventura
  • Carrows: Oxnard and Ojai

That leaves us with a single Carrows in Ventura and a single Coco's in Simi Valley.

AJ Chinese Cuisine to Open in Ojai on Thursday, September 12th

AJ Chinese Cuisine’s Grand Opening September 12th

A new Ojai restaurant officially opens Thursday, September 12th at 11:30 AM, offering a wide variety of classic and regional Chinese dishes. AJ Chinese Cuisine located at 842 East Ojai Avenue, will have free wine for all diners on opening day to go with their meals. Restaurant owners Jessica Oestreich and Alice Ramsey are from mainland China, were married in America and now reside in Ojai. They believe Ojai needs a good Chinese restaurant that offers a wide selection of dishes from different regions of China.

The restaurant has two chefs from China One is from a 5 star hotel, where he specialized in seafood dishes. The other chef, from the famous Lui Ding Restaurant in Hong Kong, will focus on hotter, spicier dishes. Dishes will be made with fresh, locally grown vegetables with no preservatives. The chefs select choice pieces of meat and chicken breast, which are then thinly sliced for quick cooking.

New dishes will continue to be added to the extensive 7-page menu. Monthly specials created from seasonal crops will be featured along with luncheon specials. The restaurant went through a total renovation prior to test opening in late August. A full bar includes wines from all three Ojai wineries, serves appetizers and several TV screens. Skylights have been added throughout the restaurant to lighten the interior and conserve energy. A private dining room is available for meetings up to 70 people.

For more information call 805.640.0201. Their website will be launching in mid-September at

Ojai Police Department Reports an Increase in Reported Phone Scams

Ojai Police are warning Ojai Valley residents of an increase in reported phone scams. The suspect(s) have been targeting elderly residents and posing as family members in need of large sums of money or an official calling on the behalf of the family member because they are in jail and need money to bail out. Victims have reported the suspect(s) request the victim(s) to send the money to locations in Vancouver, B.C. Canada, or overseas to countries in the Middle East.

If any area residents receive phone calls of this nature, or any other suspicious nature, they are encouraged to call law enforcement. This type of phone scam is one of many that occur throughout the year and increase during holiday seasons.

Here are some recommendations to protect yourself from telephone scams:

  1. Always know whom you are talking to and get information on the business and a call back number.
  2. Never provide your confidential information, such as date of birth, social security number, or bank account numbers.
  3. Discontinue transactions if someone coaches you on how to send money or respond to questions from money order service employees.
  4. Always check with other family members when a suspect calls and poses as a family member requesting money and call the family member the officials are talking about.

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to
the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller
may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ojai Author Kate Sexton's New Novel "Awakening the Essence" Released May 3rd

First book of a trilogy that contains over ten years of research

Ojai author Kate Sexton's new novel, Awakening the Essence: Book One of The Siren Chronicles, was released Tuesday, May 3rd. This is the first book of The Siren Chronicles, a trilogy focused on the ancient history of Europe as unveiled through the eyes of a modern woman's journey of discovery. Demonstrating a gift for the creation of legend, Sexton delivers a hypnotic novel of mysteries and profound knowledge and makes real a great dynasty - a family given to history and mythology, to murder and forbidden wisdom, to song and philosophy; a family that is itself haunted by a dangerous and secretive enemy.

About the Story
On a mountainside in the south of France, Rory Forsythe, a beautiful and successful entertainment executive, awakens from a car accident to discover she has acquired sensory abilities that both mystify and frighten her. While trying to comprehend these new abilities, she is catapulted into a worldwide power struggle that began eons ago.  With handsome Irishman Kelsey O'Keefe at her side, Rory takes up the hunt for the hidden location of an ancient family fortune. As these two set out to solve the mystery of her past, the novel moves backward and forward in time, from the present to an ancient temple in Babylon, and to a tribal circle of judgment held 8,000 years ago. Rory's inspired yet dangerous moves in this ruthless game bind her to the legacy she was born to protect - The Siren Chronicles.

Millennia ago women were honored as matriarchs and the leaders of nations. Respected and powerful. Today women fight for an equal role in society, their power suppressed, their intelligence hidden, and their voice muffled. Why? Was it simply the
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Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village Wins AAA Five Diamond Award Again in 2011


Service and Teamwork are Key to Creating an Exceptional Guest Experience

For the third consecutive year, Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village received the coveted Five Diamond award by the American Automobile Association (AAA).  By achieving this designation, the 270-room Hotel remains the only AAA Five Diamond rated hotel in the Conejo Valley.

“We are thrilled and honoured to continue to receive this award which would not be possible without the tireless efforts of our employees,” said Regional Vice President and General Manager Thomas Gurtner.

This is a general manager who knows what he’s talking about when it comes to collecting precious stones.  Mr. Gurtner has a perfect score of achieving Five Diamond ratings or the equivalent for each of his 22 years with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in destinations as varied as New York, Hong Kong, Newport Beach and Boston.  According to Mr. Gurtner, the secret in garnering so much “bling” is surrounding himself with a team of extraordinary people providing exceptional service throughout his career.

“It’s all about the team,” said Mr. Gurtner.  “I know that the best success is shared success.  After all, organizational success is rarely about an individual.  In the end, it's the team of inherently caring, service-minded individuals who create our unique guest experience that makes the difference between ordinary and extraordinary.”  

To select AAA Five Diamond accommodations, the property is anonymously rated by 75 different benchmarks while the staff is evaluated by 228 individual standards.   Less than one-half of one percent of more than 31,000 inspected hotels achieves the AAA Five Diamond designation.

Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village opened in November 2006 offering a 40,000-square-foot Spa and well-being programs at California Health & Longevity Institute in addition to extensive function space and diverse dining options in ONYX and Hampton’s.  For more information or reservations for Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, please visit, call the Hotel directly at (818) 575-3000, or contact a travel professional.  

Note From Conejo Joe: The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is the other hotel in Ventura County to make this Five Diamond list in 2010. This is the 5th year in a row that they have made the list.