A classic contemporary cinema line arrives in Two Jakes, the 1990 sequel to Chinatown, when Jack Nicholson, as gumshoe Jake Gittes, says with signature Nicholson snarl-charm, “The past. There’s always plenty more where that came from.”
The line suddenly resonated in my head as we stood in the vintage hallway of the Ojai Valley Inn’s Neff building — in part because Two Jakes had this swarming historic slice of elegant real estate as a location. A large framed photo of Nicholson and costar Harvey Keitel in ’40s-vintage garb hangs in this hallowed hallway, alongside photos of VIPs, politicos, and celebrities who have visited here — including Arnold Palmer, Jimmy Carter, Audrey Hepburn, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Rita Hayworth, and current celebs understandably opting for the anonymity clause. Follow the hallway to the Neff Heritage Bar (where “Throwback Thursdays” afford Ojai locals with half-off deals) and the fine dining Olivella restaurant.