Ever since Master of the Top Chef Masters, Rick Bayless, opened a restaurant in L.A. (or, to be more accurate, a restaurant opened that features his cuisine) my curiosity has been piqued. Red O Restaurant has received 3 stars from the L.A. Times, a part of me is really tempted to wait on hold while I try to get reservations a month from now, the too cool for school part of me wants to wait until the hype is gone and the remainder of me wonders--what would I even order?
I might start with a tequila I've never tried to liven things up. I'd steer clear of the mixed drinks/margaritas in order to save the calories for the food. For a starter (to share, of course), I'd skip over all of the fried and overly cheesed items and land on the Roasted Garlic Mushroom Soft Tacos--shitake, oyster, crimini and wild chanterelle mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic mojo (apparently, a sauce made from sour oranges), spinach and black beans (for $13). Sounds darn delicious. There probably is more oil than I'd like on it, but the flavor factor will likely win me over and I can always eat as much or as little of the tortilla as I please.
For the main event, it would have to be the Pescado Zarandeado--wood-grilled Silver Creek striped bass, basted with red chile, three salsas, Veracruz-style white rice with sweet plantains, arugula salad (for $27). How bad could grilled fish with salsa be for you? Maybe I don't want to know, but sounds decent on the health-scale. Plus, Ms. S. Irene Virbila of said L.A. Times found it "moist and pristine." And, it goes without saying, that I will leave most of the white rice and sweet plantains for my less carb-phobic dining companions.
Nothing really calls to me from the dessert menu, so I'll end my imaginary evening there. Now to go sit on hold...