What’s Going On at Ranchos in Ocean Beach?

by on October 12, 2016 · 12 comments

in Culture, Health, History, Ocean Beach

ob-ranchos-frontRumors are flying – Ranchos Cochina – or just “Ranchos” – OB’s iconic organic Mexican restaurant has closed.

Opps, no, it’s still open. No, it’s only open for a while. But then closing. No, it’s only remodeling.

We had to find out just what is going on at this historic eatery – the first organic Mexican place in San Diego? or Point Loma? Definitely OB. So South OB Girl was gracious enough to drop everything and rush over there this morning.


Signs in the window. All photos by South OB Girl

What she found out is either distressing or encouraging for fans of the restaurant.

South OB Girl heard a couple of different things. Yes, it’s open today – and will be perhaps for  one more week, then it’s closing.

But it’s only closing for a remodel, and then will reopen again.

In the meantime, the tables once serving hot meals have been turned into display counters for Mexican shirts, jewelry and many of the art and curio objects on its walls are for sale.

ob-ranchos-saleRanchos opened many moons ago, back in the 1990s, as a Mexican hole-in-the-wall that served organic and vegetarian Mexican food – along with good quality other Mexican regular menu items. It had replaced another more traditional taco-burrito place.

But the vegetarians and organic-minded OBceans loved it, and flocked to the new sit-down site; barely, sit-down, for while it was still a hole-in-the-wall, it had maybe 5 tables in the small front room.

ob-ranchos-sale2With time, Ranchos exploded – it opened two other sites – one on Point Loma Avenue which included a market – and another one in North Park on 30th Street. And then the original one took over the former video-rental next door (Paladin had moved to Newport Ave. when people still went to stores to rent videos) – which was a huge space. Some feared it was too much, but everything seem to go great for years, the staff expanded, many, many more people could be served.

ob-ranchos-5So, at its height, the owners had 3 restaurants and a market going.

It couldn’t be sustained. The restaurant-store boarded up years ago (that building is still vacant – the one along Pt Loma Ave).

And some time ago, the OB Ranchos only accepted cash. Not a good sign. The one in North Park still seems to be fine.

But OB Rag staffers had a luncheon there outside on the small but wonderful covered deck and everything seemed great.

So, if they will be open after a remodel, that’s good news for fans. We hope this is the right story.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

OB Mercy October 12, 2016 at 2:50 pm

They seemed ok when I first moved here 8 yrs ago. I loved one of their fish dishes and ordered it many times. When I brought a large party there for my birthday a few yrs ago and touted the fish dish, most ordered it. It was terrible, every one of them! And they were out of flan. Needless to say, my bday dinner sucked. I didn’t go back until a couple of months ago and ordered the same fish. It sucked again. They do make a great chicken veggie soup that I get on a cold winter night. But I’m not trying anything else there again.


Christo October 12, 2016 at 3:52 pm

It does (or did) say on the menu: Flan (When my wife feels like it)


Judi October 12, 2016 at 4:52 pm

I love it. They make the best salsa in town. It is homemade – not out of a jar or can that so many places offer now. The chips were always hot. The only thing I didn’t like was their soups – I felt they were watered down and not authentic. But from the tamales to the enchiladas, to the tacos, to the burritos, etc., I never had a bad meal there. Will miss them while they “remodel.”


Alex October 12, 2016 at 6:10 pm

Our greatest treat of all OB food is the mole enchiladas at Ranchos! Friends in Seattle routinely take home these and other entrees in their suit cases! Vegetarians can’t find more delicious food. “Ranchos es lo mas fantastico restaurante en OB!” We will miss them while they change and await with anticipation the new and even more wonderful Ranchos.


Chris October 12, 2016 at 6:37 pm

The North Park location is still thriving and is still pretty good, at least the things I normally get.


Judi October 13, 2016 at 10:34 am

The menu is not as extensive at the North Park Location. Reviewed it several years ago. What they have is good, but not all the choices that this one had.


Dave October 12, 2016 at 10:13 pm

I always found everything quite “meh.” But I was ordering traditional taco shop staples, the kind of stuff I judge a Mexi joint by before getting adventurous – maybe I should have been branching out more?


Daniel Beeman (@DanielBeeman1) October 12, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Ray & Kathy Blavatt, both artists in their own rite, she also educator, him too, wow, pretty interesting…he cycles, she makes great vegi/organic foods! But they have both taken me to Rancho’s for years, last time $4 enchilada was amazing, almost ordered second, but Kathy & Ray only have Honda SUV, and wasn’t sure I’d fit after one more. Good people, great service and even better food!


kh October 13, 2016 at 10:59 am

I enjoy me a plate of Ranchos, I’m hopeful that they stick around.


Lindsay October 13, 2016 at 3:11 pm

So, did you talk to anyone at Rancho’s? Or you’re just guessing like everyone else. Seems like in order to write an accurate story you should gather the facts and let us know what is going on. Otherwise it’s still all just speculation… no different than before your article.


South OB Girl October 13, 2016 at 8:20 pm

I spoke with 2 employees working at Ranchos.


Valeri October 13, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Blades Mexican food I’ve ever had…once was enough.


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