Overview | Red O has been a familiar name to those in the Southern California area for some time now. The brand spans from Newport Beach all the way to Melrose Avenue and now most recently, Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica where they are beginning to make waves. (Dad jokes, anyone?) Red O has established familiarity and have built quite a brand for themselves over the past 5 years within the world of dining. Having a celebrity chef like Rick Bayless behind the operation has also helped the brand quickly propel themselves in to fine dining legitimacy. Even though Rick cannot physically be in 5 places at once, so lazy, the team at Red O Santa Monica have clearly taken all necessary cues from the Master Chef himself and seamlessly run this kitchen. On a nightly basis incredible and inventive ‘Mexican meets Californian’ dishes are crafted; major kudos are in order to Chef Seth Vider and Chef Keith Stich for holding down the fort and making Red O SM something special.
A meal at Red O Santa Monica is like going on vacation, and if you live in Los Angeles the experience is a world class treat. The interior decor alone makes me wish there were a spoon big enough to eat it all up. Talk about design envy! But besides feeling all the feels about location, ambiance, etc, the food is not to go unappreciated. It’s Rick Bayless certified for cryin’ out loud! From seafood to steak the rich and familiar yet surprising Mexican inspired flavors truly put the class in “world class” cuisine.
Favorite Drink | “Honey on Fire” – El Silencio Espadin Mezcal, habanero-honey, fresh lemon, Yellow Chartreuse. Perfectly freakin’ balanced, so damn refreshing. It’s so good it makes me want to swear.
Must Order | So many things. But for starters do not miss the “fresh corn and goat cheese tamales” – so light, so flavorful, and such a fun take on a classic dish. The “12 oz carne asada brava” is a perfectly cooked and aged NY strip and is a great dish to split. I may be an equal dessert opportunist but Red O’s baked to order “passion fruit butter cake” is a game changing treat. Life changing, one might stay. It’s exactly what it sounds like and more. I mean, “butter” is in the title. ‘Nuff said.
Perfect Spot For | Date night // business dinner // happy hour // live music // an inventive Mexican inspired meal // a damn fine wine list // cocktails and chips // Santa Monica dining // a Rick Bayless approved dinner
Pro Tip | If you’ve found that you’d love to check Red O out but you’re worried you might not have the funds to do so, check out their happy hour! It’s offered daily from 4 – 6:30 pm with 10 – 15 small dishes ranging from $5-$10, 2 $7 cocktails, $5 beers, and $7 glasses of wine and well drinks. *The corn and goat cheese tamales are only $7 during happy hour!*
Fun Fact | Like all of Rick Bayless endeavors, Red O sources ingredients from local farms using sustainable practices. Now you know why it all tastes so good!
Bonus Fact | Monday’s are “No Corkage Mondays” and there is live music in the evening 7 days a week!
Red O Santa Monica | 1541 Ocean Ave., Suite 120 Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 310 458 1600 | Open daily at 4pm