2015-03-13 / On The Town

Restaurant review Adolfo Grill and Daily Bar

New restaurant offers California cuisine and local produce
By Ela Lindsay

OFFERING COMFORT FOOD—Adolfo Grill on Daily Drive is one of the city’s newest restaurants. Those on staff include, from left, server Kirk Benitez, Chef Marco Molina, and owners Tori and Tom Dann. OFFERING COMFORT FOOD—Adolfo Grill on Daily Drive is one of the city’s newest restaurants. Those on staff include, from left, server Kirk Benitez, Chef Marco Molina, and owners Tori and Tom Dann. When you visit Adolfo Grill and Daily Bar in Camarillo for the first time, you can’t help being drawn in by the comfortable, inviting atmosphere and the cowboy paraphernalia that peppers the restaurant.

Although the venue feels like it’s been there forever, Ventura residents Tori and Tom Dann opened their eatery just over two months ago with new fare and a fresh new look.

“The restaurant has been here since 1967,” Tom Dann said. “It used to be the Sand Trap, the California Grill, and now it’s the Adolfo Grill. . . . And this place belongs to the people in Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard and area—and their families.”

The whole concept is based on connecting and serving the communities of the county, “just as our namesake, Adolfo Camarillo, did,” he said.

Dann further explained how Don Adolfo rode from ranch to ranch to visit people, a turn-ofthe century custom that continues annually with the Rancheros Visitadores and Rancheros Adolfo horseback rides.

“We’ve sought to carry on this tradition of connecting these communities,” Dann said about offering a place for area residents to meet, eat and visit.

Owners of several successful take-and-bake pizza and deli ventures in the county, the Danns are no strangers to the food scene in Ventura County.

“We grew up in the restaurant business here,” said Tori Dann. She and her husband have been involved in the business one way or another for the past 35 years. “This is our life.”

Their new venue offers “California cuisine with local produce and vendors—with a Spanish twist,” Tom Dann said. “And we’re affordable.”

Their homey, welcoming focus extends to the menu items, with comfort-food offerings like deviled egg starters, tuna melt sandwiches and a lunchtime customer favorite, the poblano chicken sandwich featuring grilled chicken breast, jack cheese, pecanwood- smoked bacon, roasted poblano peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, onions and Sriracha mayo.

The dinner menu also offers lots of comfort food, including a five-cheese-blend mac and cheese, a catch of the day, seafood fettuccini and a yummy homemade paella with shrimp, black mussels, Spanish chorizo, chicken and saffron rice.

If you order the Adolfo burger, I recommend that you ask for it to be cut in half, not only because it’s so substantial you might want to share it, but also because it’s beautiful to see its thick layers of juicy hamburger, avocado, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and garlic aioli.

Throw in some made-to-order onion rings and you’re good to go. Or try a side of frickles— crunchy, tasty beer-battered pickle spears. These cool creations are only a sample of what Chef Marco Molina, also in the restaurant business for many years, brings to the substantial Adolfo Grill menu.

“We let him go wild,” Tori Dann said.

First-timers at the restaurant might want to sample Adolfo Grill fare Monday through Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. for the Sunset Dinners—$12 meals that offer smaller portions than the regular fare but still include all the fixings, such as a 6-ounce oven-finished, sauteed salmon fillet with roasted red potatoes and fresh asparagus, or the ranchero pot roast topped with a mushroom and onion demiglaze, served with homemade mashed spuds.

In addition, the Daily Bar offers a happy-hour menu from 3 to 8 p.m., featuring items like chili, house-made chips and a popular bruschetta sampler, as well as $6 cocktails, $4 domestic beer and other reduced-price drinks.

“We have really nice top-shelf alcohol,” said Tori Dann.

They also offer hand-crafted beers and a wine list that features Central Coast fare.

For the health-minded customer, the menu has vegan and gluten-free choices, including a variety of salads.

Dotting the walls of the restaurant are vintage photos, including one of Adolfo Camarillo.

“We welcome and encourage you to take a stroll around and see the men and women that have helped build and connect the Ventura County community,” said Tom Dann about the photos.

Adolfo Grill and Daily Bar, 67 Daily Drive in Camarillo, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (805) 482-3200 or visit www.adolfogrill.com.

From Chef Molina

Crab-stuffed salmon

8 oz. Scottish salmon fillet
1 tsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

2 oz. crab meat
½ oz. red roasted peppers
½ tsp. fresh garlic
1 oz. marinated artichoke
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
2 basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 380 degrees. Cut slits in salmon fillet about ¾-inch through. Drizzle olive oil on both sides. Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine stuffing ingredients in a mixing bowl; stuff salmon with the mixture and bake 15 to 20 minutes.

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