The Newport Beach Restaurant Week was last week, and I decided to try the Red O, at Newport Beach Fashion Island. The Red O is a Mexican style restaurant by celebrity chef Rick Bayless. Bayless is known for his PBS show, Mexico: One Plate at a Time. There are three Red O locations, all in California. One in Newport Beach, one in Santa Monica and one on Melrose in LA.

Restaurant Week Menu:

For restaurant week, the Red O offered a $20 three course menu for lunch. Appetizer, main dish and dessert. It’s a pretty good deal compared to their normal menu!


For starters, they provide complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were really good, and the salsa as well. A great start to the meal.

For my appetizer I decided to try the Mary’s Duck Taquitos. I thought it was a bit dry, and the sauce was a bit too spicy.


We ordered the Shrimp and Calamari Ceviche in addition to the appetizer that came with the set menu. It turned out to be a really good appetizer, as it was tasty and fresh. The banana chips were a great accompaniment to the seafood.

For her set menu appetizer, mum opted for the caesar salad. Per her words, it was not very good, no better than your average restaurant’s caesar.

Main Course:

For my main course, I ordered the Pescado Del Dia (Fish of the Day) which was a Mahi Mahi. The sauce was too spicy for my liking, and I thought the fish was a bit overcooked. It was still quite tasty, just nothing to really rave about.

My aunt ordered the Carnitas in Red Chile Guajillo and she said it was okay. Not the best, not the worst.


While the restaurant week menu was supposed to serve a chocolate tart, we instead ended up with a Tres Leches desert. It was a cake soaked in three milks, and i thought the texture was quite interesting. A bit too soggy for my liking, but overall a decent desert.

Ambiance and Service:

I have to say, the ambiance and service was the highlight of the restaurant. The dining area is beautiful, and very comfortable to socialize. The upscale design is nice to host a special event. Service was great as well, with our waitress being very helpful.


The ambiance and service at the Red O was the main plus of the dining experience. The food was average, and because of that, I probably will not come back immediately. I might give them another shot in the future if they have another restaurant week style promotion.