Red O Fashion Island Rick Bayless Marc Johnson Red O
Rick Bayless’ take on regional Mexican cuisine comes to Fashion Island.
Openings: Lunch & Dinner daily, Brunch Sat.

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Red O, Newport Beach, CA


Red O Restaurant Review:


Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless' restaurant makes a great effort to tap into the sleek side of Newport Beach and its legendary shopping center. The large venue's intriguing, curiously Moorish décor is festooned with dark reds, deep woods and a wall of tequila. The bar and lounge is by the entrance, followed by the main dining room, patios that can be sectioned off with curtains and an adjacent pavilion that can provide additional private dining space. Executive chef Marc Johnson takes the wheel in the kitchen, and he and his staff oversee a menu stocked with Bayless' interpretations of regional Mexican fare. Begin your meal with the pork belly sopes or shrimp ceviche. Mains are highlighted by Colorado lamb chops served in mole negro sauce, slow-cooked carnitas pork complemented by a red chile sauce, and chile relleno stuffed with prawns and Maine lobster. The place tries to present sustainable seafood, as recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. These dishes can be paired with a host of sides, most notably the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes with cotija cheese. For a sweet finale, try the tres leches cake or the plantain cake with pepita-toffee crunch. Weekend brunch brings options like chilaquiles along with endless mimosas, sangría, Bloody Marys or Tequila Sunrises. A smart selection of wines, an extensive tequila list (including flights) and cocktails made with mezcal, tequila and other spirits round out the experience.

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