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Best Bites

October 04, 1990

The following are capsule reviews of some of the better restaurants recently visited by our critics:

The pub at Victoria Pub and Restaurant is a lively gathering place for English expatriates and pub lovers alike. It stays open until everyone goes home, and the dart games never stop. The more subdued restaurant serves an English menu, complete with steak and kidney pie, fish and chips and Cornish pasties. The soups, which change daily, are excellent. The lamb steak is excellent, and you don't even have to be British to appreciate the desserts. The crumble of the day with hot fruit, sweet crumble and cream is particularly good. Victoria Pub and Restaurant is located at 1413F S. Victoria Ave., Ventura; (805) 650-0060. Lunch is served every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and the pub is open until 2 a.m. Dinner for two, food only, $25 to $60.

The flowing hot springs at Wheeler have drawn people to their therapeutic ambience since the early 1800s. Today you can enjoy them along with a massage and a fine dinner. The menu changes every week and the vegetables and herbs come from the restaurant's own gardens. The Restaurant at Wheeler Hot Springs is located at 16825 Maricopa Highway; (805) 646-8131. Dinner is served 5 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and Sunday brunch is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner for two, food only, $52 to $68.

The Sportsman Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge is a throwback to the 1950s and '60s when it was one of the "special occasion" restaurants in Ventura. Although its prices might have changed with the times, the quality of its steaks and chops has not. The Sportsman is at 53 S. California St., Ventura; (805) 643-2851. Open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast and lunch, and 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner Sunday. Lunch for two, food only, $12-$20. Dinner for two, food only, $25-$46.

The owners of Jag's India House call their Northern Indian cooking "royal Mogul cuisine." The hot fresh breads alone are worth the trip to the restaurant. Jag's India House, 860 Hampshire Road, Suite U, Westlake Village; (805) 373-6266. Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; dinner 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Wine and beer. Parking lot. MasterCard and Visa. Dinner for two, food only, $30-$50.

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