Its been two years since Red O Restaurants first announced its expansion into San Diego but the upscale Mexican eatery has set a May due date for its fourth location, which will span over 10,000-square-feet in The Plaza by The Irvine Company across from Westfield UTC. The La Jolla outpost, which follows established Red O branches in Los Angeles and Orange County, will be a design departure for the brand; designer JB Campise (Jon Brent Design) created a “modern Mexican Oasis by the sea” by mixing Mexican modernist design with elements that convey the relaxed feeling of Mexican resort. The layout also includes a bar and wine lounge and an outdoor dining patio with a fireplace and fire pits.
When Eater caught up with culinary director Rick Bayless last week as he passed through San Diego, the legendary ambassador of Mexican cuisine shared that his role at Red O is primarily as a consultant. Bayless collaborated with corporate chef Marc Johnson on the upscale restaurant’s menu, which will be carried out in La Jolla by executive chef Seth Vider.
Rooted in classic Mexican cuisine, the menu also features prime steak and seafood. Eater has an exclusive look at the opening menu, which ranges from a filet mignon in chipotle crema and a selection of fresh fish served with guajillo chile chimichurri to a surf ‘n’ turf feast served tableside which arrives bearing a 32-ounce tomahawk ribeye chop, a 1 ½ pound Maine Lobster tail and an array of accompaniments including corn and flour tortillas, pico de gallo, guacamole, vegetable escabeche, Mexican red rice, and refried beans. There are also fresh corn masa tamales made with artisan goat cheese and tomatillo salsa plus traditional plates including pollo asado and fish tacos. Red O La Jolla will be open for lunch and dinner daily, with brunch served from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends. At the bar, a 3 to 7 p.m. daily happy hour will include specials on cocktails, beer wine and small bites.