What’s a girl to do when she’s in Chicago on business and tries to steal a cab from a charming Brit, also in Chicago on business? She gives him her card! He returns the favor. So began the relationship of legal beagle Allison Walton and cosmetic exec Gareth Croxall. As it turned out, both lived in southern California, so Allison decided to invite Gareth to a party she was hosting, and they walked off into the sunset together, eventually setting up house in Ojai with their six cats (four hairless – two Persians) and one dog.

As an established corporate lawyer, Allison wanted a new challenge, and after putting herself through law school by waiting tables, she felt a calling to start a restaurant. She partnered with Gareth and decided that an eatery modeled after a British steak house just might be a winning ticket in Ojai.

Together, they opened East End Restaurant & Bar, appropriately in the east end of town, a welcoming place with a tavern ambiance. The interior’s brick wall and long, dark wooden bar are reminiscent of my favorite watering holes in Manhattan, P. J. Clarke’s and Joe Allen, and a certain bar in Boston where everybody knows your name.

Chef Victor Tello delivers fine, British steak house fare from farm, from sea and from ranch that includes a classic wedge salad, scrumptious fried oysters, Shepherd’s pie, Beef Wellington, creamy garlic pesto escargot, great Black Angus burgers, prime rib, fish & chips and, of course, steaks! And from the full bar… try their mocha martini or Shelf Road cocktail.

From whatever end you begin your Taste of Ojai eating adventure, make sure you stop at the East End table.


By: Ilona Saari


East End Restaurant & Bar
914 East Ojai Avenue
Ojai, California 93023