In 1996 we bought a tiny natural food store and have grown into the community gathering place we call Rainbow Bridge. Our intent then and now has been to create an environment that offers and promotes a healthy lifestyle, through nutritional education and consciousness. The natural food industry has continued to evolve with new discoveries and food awareness, and we felt it our responsibility to offer that to the dining community of Ojai with our newest creation, SAGE, Mindful Meals and Elixirs.
We saw the need to fill a gap for healthy fare, with dietary restrictions in mind, that tastes divine, is globally inspired and fits a majority of people’s dining pleasures in Ojai. We are aiming to feed everyone who wants to eat healthy AND taste good. Many people have sensitivities and allergies that make it difficult to dine out, we have thought of that and more. Many people are looking for a quick meal that is not only fresh ingredients, but cares about the environment. We do that by serving on dishes rather than disposables, composting our waste, buying local and seasonal. Many people want to trust the ingredients in their elixirs and protein drinks that heal as well as fill the tummy. Most want local, organic vegetable juice made FRESH THAT DAY. Although, we believe that a strong plant-based diet is still important, we also understand that not everyone needs that for optimum health. So we have incorporated local, sustainable meats, fish and poultry. Our food is prepared in a variety of styles, be it paleo, keto, low carb, gluten free, dairy free, vegan, Ayurvedic and of course, the anti-inflammatory, low lectin method. We offer baked goods both with organic flours or dairy as well as gluten free/low-lectin options.
We asked ourselves, how do we meet all these requirements and still make it delicious and doable? I guess that is why it has taken us nearly 5 years to complete. We have the talented and experienced Chef Michael, General Manager Barney and an array of talented support staff. With years of experience between us, our motivation is to leave a legacy of healthy eating.
January 2019, we are opening the first part of our restaurant: counter service for breakfast, lunch and beverages. We also are offering fresh tonics, elixirs, organic coffee and tea. In addition, we will have a retail section with bulk herbs, loose teas, chocolate, honey, balsamic vinegar and olive oils. Our Dharma and Dog store is accessible, and we will be serving a doggy menu for our pet friendly patios.
Counter service makes it easy and quick. Our “small plates” and portions make it shareable and affordable. Not cheap, because fresh and local is not cheap, but our aim is to make it the best prices we can for what we serve. We will be open from 8-4 Thursday to Tuesday to launch the counter service, with expanded hours in the Spring. You can eat inside our beautiful venue or out on our very special patio on the arcade. By this Spring 2019, we will open an additional indoor dining room, SAGE LOUNGE for evening dining, bar, waiter service and what we think will be one of the best culinary treats in Ojai. You will be the judge of that – so keep in touch through Facebook or Instagram or just come on in and get another feeling from of our village marketplace on Matilija Street.
Michael Chavez-Martinez originally trained in French cuisine under the scrutiny and perfection of proven, culinary traditions. Through his early years, his travels through Europe, UAE and the US made him a global, culinary enthusiast and honed his skills both in classic and modern techniques.
In the same global tradition, Michael insists on seasonality and sustainability of the food he serves today. Upon arrival to Ojai, he set out to connect with small, local farms, farmer’s markets, organic bakers and regional fish and meat purveyors, in order to utilize the freshest, most organic, seasonal products available for our menu.
Chef Michael has worked and collaborated with a myriad of established chefs, including Anthony Bourdain, Jacques Pepin, Ludo Lefebvre and Mark Gold, to name a few. He looks forward to sharing his philosophy on preparation and product, and building a culinary team that highlights the best tastes, service and healthful options for our community and those who visit us in Ojai.
Working throughout Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Northern California for the past 30 years, Barney has created an impressive background and high qualifications in Restaurant Management. Throughout his experience he has perfected an array of talents including Customer Service, Mixology, as well as Cooking.
As part of the Sage team in Ojai, he is proud to bring the community into the evolution of mindful foods, coffees, elixirs and crafted drinks delivered with style and service expertise.
Dharma & Dog
Sharing the same building as Sage Mindful Meals, Dharma & Dog is an emporium for Pets & People, where we carry a mission to promote a healthy zen lifestyle for you and your pets, with fair-trade items and/or environmentally sourced products to nurture the mind and soul. To learn more, visit our Rainbow Bridge website at www,rainbowbridgeojai.com/dharma/.