Take A Bite of Life
Since opening in January, NoSo Vita has lived up to its conversation- starting moniker, an invented word inspired by “nothing” and “something,” and life (vita in Latin) so named to “provide an environment where people get the opportunity to create life,” says Sean Mason, who owns and operates the restaurant with his wife, Felicia.
Felicia grew up in the Ojai restaurant business (her parents own Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe), and another Ojai native, award-winning chef Marcus Hollingsworth, was hired to create the Mediterraneaninspired menu featuring empanadas, frittatas and panini sandwiches. Many ingredients are made from scratch daily, like the handpulled mozzarella on the caprese salad, and prosciutto and capicola panini. House-made lemon-scented ricotta is on the French-toasted croissant and the veggie panini. There are many gluten-free entrée options as well.
At the coffee bar, organic cold craft coffee on tap fills pint glasses or growlers to go. The restaurant also has two Enomatic wine machines, stocked with red and white wines mainly from small family wineries that focus on organic, sustainable growing practices, says Sean. NoSo Vita will be open for dinner starting this spring, Sean says. (They were putting the finishing touches on the new dinner menu as of press time.)
Design elements reflect the name and concept. Inside, a large hightop community table is bordered by long banquettes adorned with overstuffed pillows. Reclaimed wood, potted succulents, orange and silver chairs and white subway tiles make the space feel warm yet modern. Outside, patio seating is shaded by umbrellas and an olive tree. A comfy orange sectional sofa and plans for a vegetable garden encourage more of that community vibe.