Let me start by saying that Mexican food isn’t one of my favorite things. But when the boss wanted to take the team out for lunch on her last day, who was I to say no? Little did I know that Red O Restaurant would become one of new favorites.
You may know Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s ‘Top Chef Masters’ with his authentic Mexican cuisine, or from or PBS show ‘Mexico One Plate at a Time’.
When you first walk in to the Newport Beach location, you meet a wall covered in tequila bottles. Or what my friend Susanne calls the “Church of Perpetual Tequila”. Rick Bayless personally curated the unrivaled list of 100 unique tequilas.
The rest of the dining experience is as impressive as the entrance. Since it was our team’s first time at his restaurant, the waitress recommended Bayless’ Top Chef Masters dish, Lamb Mole Negro (wood-grilled lamb chops, roasted brussel sprouts, lollipop kale, caramelized onion, nut crunch). Of course I had to order the award-winning dish! When in Rome…My Foursquare tip even made it The Daily Meal!
On another occasion, I met a friend for lunch and we started with ‘Tasting of Guacamole’. The presentation brought us four versions of guacamole: Macha, Classic, Cucumber, Yuzu. This second time around, the Lamb Mole Negro was not as amazing as I had remembered…maybe not being able to expense the meal had something to do with it?
Most recently, I was back at Red O for a networking lunch, and I was able to try the Pork Belly Tacos (salsa negra, napa cabbage, cotija, served with rice and beans). Delicious!
Wait, there’s no better way to end the meal than with dessert. And oh what a heavenly treat the Cuatro Leches Cake is! It’s a delicate cake soaked with four milks, ancho chile roasted Harry’s Berries, lime yogurt, cucumber ice, biscochitos.
Although more enjoyable when on the company tab, dining at Red O is truly an experience like no other.
© 2014 Eden Tsai