Rick Bayless’ Red O dishes out some of the best and most expensive food in Los Angeles. That doesn’t stop true foodies from going there and packing the uber attractive, upscale Mexican joint at night, but it might make some folks hesitant to spend mega bucks on dinner. No worries if you fall into the latter category, you can taste Bayless’ exceptional creations without busting your budget if you go to happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and take a seat at the bar or one of the high top tables.
While the food and drink still isn’t exactly cheap, it’s a lot less expensive than the regular dinner menu. We decided to do it yesterday afternoon with a friend. While the Diva did her usual wine, she was a bit put off that the happy hour list didn’t include Chardonnays, so she settled for a $7 (about half the normal price) glass of Paso Robles Cabernet. The two men ordered the special margaritas, which they enjoyed, and were almost half the price you’d pay at the dinner table at $12.
We fueled ourselves with four different $12 dishes from what Bayless calls his “Street Food Social Hour” menu. Everything was Bayless-licious from the perfect guacamole and chips to the Woodland mushrooms queso fundido . We also did a Niman Ranch pork belly sope with Sonoma duck taquita and goat cheese tamale.
Other choices include a choice of classic albacore ceviche, tropical ahi tuna ceviche, or Yucatecan shrimp & calamari ceviche for $10; Street Food Trio of smoked chicken taquitos, Mexico City style corn masa quesadillas, sweet plantain sopes; a choice of skirt steak, or Mary’s chicken, or Mazatlan blue shrimp served in homemade corn tortillas and more listed on the menu at: http://www.redorestaurant.com/menu/street-food-social/.
It definitely is a way around Red O’s prices and a good opportunity to sample the fare in a fun environment with lots of other foodies, tipplers and local regulars who arrive pretty much at the stroke of 5 and either leave after 7 or head to a table for further sustenance.
Red O is located at 8155 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, 323-655-5009. You don’t need a reservation for happy hour but you definitely do for dinner. Now sit back and drool over the food photos in the attached slideshow.