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The Enabler

June 05, 2008

The French novelist Marguerite Duras once opined that "if writing isn't all things, all contraries confounded, a quest for vanity and void, it's nothing." If she'd ever had occasion to visit Giorgio's, a pizza joint/sports bar/microbrew depot on the main drag of downtown Ojai, she might have allowed drinking to that conundrum as well.

For such a popular weekend hideaway, Ojai, about an hour and a half north of L.A., is surprisingly bereft of bars in general, let alone the kind of place where a withered ranch hand can plop down with a bucket of Budweisers and a stack of Keno cards for an afternoon. Giorgio's welcomes him, but that's only the beginning of the varied and disparate needs that Giorgio's meets. There's the extensive menu of bargain-bin Jersey Shore Italian fare (spaghetti with meat sauce and spaghetti with red sauce), and the beer selection seemingly geared toward turtlenecked loft-dwellers: Pilsner Urquell, Stella Artois and hefeweizen are on tap for less than $4 a pint.

On a recent Saturday afternoon, be-mustached basketball fans parsed through the Eastern Conference finals, while the Enabler ate cheese fries and debated the moral responsibilities of interventionist foreign policy with a neighbor. All contraries were thoroughly confounded.

914 E. Ojai Ave., (805) 646-0854

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-- theguide@latimes.com

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