Santa Monica, CA: Winter in Los Angeles can be a conundrum of weather patterns, from chill winds and temperatures below 50 degrees, to a scorching heatwave that makes an appearance in January. As the temperature drops this holiday season and the wind carries a chill on its back, Red O Santa Monica introduces New Corporate Executive Chef Marc Johnson and invites guests to come in from the cold to enjoy their New Winter Dinner Menu!
Launched by James Beard Award Winner Red O Culinary Director Rick Bayless, Red O Santa Monica has earned a reputation for elevating the authentic flavors of Mexico, enchanting diners with its commitment to sourcing ingredients from local farms while using sustainable practices to create dishes that are unrivaled in quality and taste. Red O Restaurants is excited to announce the addition of Corporate Executive Chef Marc Johnson, who now oversees every Red O kitchen and is at the helm of all menu development. Chef Johnson’s experience in the culinary arts has given him the foundation to rise-up the ranks at such kitchens as Mastro’s Ocean Club, Studio at the Montage Resort, and Cotton Row with acclaimed Chef James Boyce. Focusing on Red O Santa Monica, Chef Johnson is shaking things up with his passionate drive. “Joining Red O Restaurants has been an amazing opportunity to push the limits of what I can do creatively in the kitchen,” says Chef Johnson.
With a focus on flavors from Central Mexico, Baja and MexiCali, Chef Johnson finds a balance with Red O Santa Monica mainstays that guests have come to love, while introducing new menu offerings with a seafood focal point. Hearty or light, all of Chef Johnson’s dishes feature fresh, vibrant ingredients reminiscent of the beachy lifestyle South of the Border. From the sauces to the tortillas all made fresh daily, nearly 100% of the food prepared at Red O Santa Monica is made in-house. “A lot of labor and passion goes into the process of bringing the components of these dishes to life,” says Johnson.
Given that it is the season of sharing, guests are encouraged to pick several appetizers for the table in the To Start portion of the menu. Sample deliciously familiar Latin American favorites with a luxurious spin, like the Fresh Corn & Goat Cheese Tamales made with fresh ground corn masa, Laura Chenel goat cheese, and tomatillo salsa, or Mary’s Duck Taquitos, comprised of slow-cooked duck, tomato-arbol chile sauce, and wild baby arugula. Taste the vivacity of the Yellowtail Aguachile, featuring hamachi yellowtail sashimi, spicy lime broth, avocado, knob onion, cucumber, and orange, or the stand-out crowd pleaser, Carnitas Empanada, with fresh corn masa, house cheese blend, and avocado tomatillo salsa.
For those seeking a hearty, meaty meal to keep them warm on a cool, brisk evening, there are a number of choices From The Grill, such as the 18oz Prime Cowboy Ribeye, accompanied by fried sweet plantains, crema, traditional black beans, and mole negro. Opt for the ultimate extravagance with the Tablita for Two, featuring a grilled 32 oz prime tomahawk chop, one pound Maine lobster tail, tajin butter, black beans, Mexican red rice, pico de gallo, classic guacamole, flour and fresh white corn tortillas. Hankering for some Baja realness? From the Sea offers delectable mains from the briny blue, such as the Chilean Sea Bass, wild from the cold waters of the southern hemisphere, boasting a moist and buttery flavor. Warm up with what Chef Johnson calls “a good amount of heat” with the Shrimp Diablo with white rice, black beans, arbol chile, white wine, tomato garlic butter.
Traditional Entrées expand your perceptions and taste buds on authentic South of the Border cooking, with culinary feats like the Mariscos Chile Relleno, a personal favorite of Chef Johnson’s, featuring Maine lobster, prawns, house cheese blend, white rice, black beans, and ancho-citrus sauce, or the Pollo Asado, comprised of roasted Jidori chicken breast, street corn, black beans, and mole poblano. For that extra oomph! of richness order up the Braised Short Rib Enchiladas accompanied by red guajillo chile sauce, melted jack cheese, frisee, Mexican red rice and beans, or the perfectly cooked Carnitas in Red Chile Guajillo, with orange-guajillo chile sauce, black beans, and jicama-citrus petite salad.
Enhance your meal with Sides to Share, with options from Fried Sweet Plantains, with cream and queso fresco, or an elevated take on Mexican Street Corn, with Poblano chile, cotija cheese, and cilantro. For an extra zip of greens there are Grilled Broccolini, accompanied with cotija cheese, chile flakes, garlic, and cilantro, or the Sautéed Baby Kale & Brussels Sprouts.
No need to hire a babysitter as Red O Santa Monica even has something For the Kids, like the delightfully cheesy Monterey Jack Cheese Quesadilla with corn tortilla, jack cheese, guacamole, white rice, and black beans, or the Grilled Chicken Tacos, accompanied with corn tortilla, chicken breast, jack cheese, guacamole, white rice, and black beans.
Finally, conclude your meal by indulging your sweet-tooth with a Dessert, such as the decedent Tres Leches, a cake soaked in three milks, topped with whipped cream, fresh assorted berries, and mint, or enjoy the Just-Made Churros, served with chocolate and Cajeta dipping sauces, or the dessert inspired by winter itself, the Plantain Cake, with cream cheese frosting, roasted plantain purée, pepita-toffee crunch, and Mexican chocolate sauce. Of course, no dinner is complete at Red O Santa Monica without the signature Passion Fruit Butter Cake with grilled strawberries, passion fruit custard, coconut crumble and coconut ice cream.
Simultaneously, quench your thirst and warm the blood with any one of Red O Santa Monica’s Margaritas, the quintessential Mexican libation. There is the Signature Red O Margarita, comprised of Cabo Wabo Blanco, o3 Orange Liqueur, house-made limonada, served over ice with a salt rim, and The Grant Margarita made with El Tesoro Añejo tequila, Mandarin Napoleon, fresh lime and agave, served up with red citrus salt and gold dusted dried pineapple slice, and a shot of El Tesoro Paradiso Extra Añejo tequila on the side.
For unparalleled libations of a different nature, peruse the Cocktail menu and enjoy mixology at its finest, like with La Moda, made with Sauza Hornitos Black Barrel Añejo Tequila, chocolate bitters and raw sugar served over ice with orange peel and star anise, or the Honey on Fire with El Silencio Espadin Mezcal, habanero-honey, lemon, and yellow chartreuse, served tall. Vanilla Sky offers guests a departure from the norm by serving it warm, with Patron XO Cafe, El Tesoro Reposado Tequila, Licor 43, Angostura Bitters, fresh coffee, cream, and canella. Over a hundred Tequilas, Tequila Tasting Flights, Draft Beer, Wine, and nonalcoholic favorites like a selection of Daily Agua Fresca are also available.
Featuring views of the glittering Pacific Ocean, Red O Santa Monica offers an atmosphere of sophistication and warmth, uniting harmoniously as friends and family gather to experience Red O Santa Monica’s New Winter Dinner Menu!
Red O Santa Monica is open for Dinner every Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm, and every Friday and Saturday from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm. For more information or reservations, please visit www.redorestaurant.com or call Red O Santa Monica directly at 213.458.1600. Red O Restaurants also has two additional locations in Los Angeles and Newport Beach.