A little over a year ago Mr. J and I were in Chicago and had a very memorable meal at Frontera Grill. It was one of the meals you remember with great fondness. If we ever are in Chicago again we would go back. Reminiscent.
Frontera Grill is the working of Rick Bayless. Well, Mr. J got wind that Rick Bayless also had a restaurant in LA. Thus we knew one of the meals would be at Red O.
Mr. J started off with the Yucatecan Shrimp & Calamar Ceviche with steamed Mexican blue shrimp, calamares with orange, lime, habanero, avocado, jicama & cilantro. Ceviche looks pretty but weirds me out. I don't like citrus flavors and the fact that this is raw but cooked fish makes my stomach turn.
I stuck with a more traditional meal of Red Chile-Braised Short Rib Enchiladas made with red guajillo chile sauce, melted Sonoma Jack, black beans, and topped with frisee and watercress. The black beans were to die for and were my favorite part of the whole meal.
Mr. J got Cochinita Pibil which is suckling pig (achiote-marinated & slow-cooked in
banana leaves), black beans, pickled red onions, and roasted habanero salsa. The salsa was so hot. Even for us heat lovers. We puckered right up and then used sparingly. You can almost see the pig hidden in there. Think of it as a make your own taco dish. This came with homemade corn tortillas.
We were pretty full but the dessert menu was too good to pass up. Mr. J got churros served with a Kahlua chocolate dipping sauce. I made sure there was no sauce left behind. I ordered the Mexican hot fudge sundae with pasilla-cacao nib brownie bits. It was a chocolate kind of night.
The meal didn't knock our socks off like Frontera Grill but it was good. LA is trendy and this restaurant can certainly be called trendy. We decided that the best Mexican food comes from more shady establishments.