The Red O Santa Monica Vs The Red O Hollywood


My last blog was a lot of food talk. And on that note…… last Tuesday a group of us went out to celebrate my friend’s birthday at the new location of Red O in Santa Monica. I’ve eaten at the one in Hollywood on Melrose (its fabulous) so was excited to try out the its new sister in SaMo. Lets compare…..

What to wear:

Ok so for this SaMo location I was totally over dressed. The location in Hollywood is sexy, dark, boudoir-y meets Casablanca. Cocktail attire is a bit much but could pass if you want to be one of those “I always over-dress” people. The SaMo location, however, is totally chill. Not sexy at all. Much more casually elegant. Business casual would have been great.

I wore my clover canyon pencil skirt with a black tank, thin leather jacket and black strappy heels. It would have been much more appropriate if I had dressed like my friends in jeans and a nice top.

I was definitely overdressed. Jeans and a tank would have been better.

What to order:

The wine is AMAZING at both locations. I had a fantastic Malbec. And the serving sizes are generous. The price wasn’t too high either. The cocktails looked pretty at the SaMo location but I was sticking with wine. The cocktails at the Hollywood/Melrose location were fantastic- and generous like the wine was here.

Appetizers at both locations are out of this world. Honestly, in my opinion, stick to the appetizers and your going to love both places. The guac is fantastic as are both salsas. The chips are thin and crispy, perfectly salted and not too greasy. At the Hollywood location I adored the mushroom tacos. At SaMo we all loved the Ahi taquitos.

Main course. I have to sadly say I was a little underwhelmed with my main course at the Red O in SaMo. In their defense I DID change the plate with substitutions. I ordered the scallops, but instead of pasta I had them put them on a bed of their asparagus. The asparagus was good, but nothing to write home about. Same with the scallops. They were sweet and the texture was perfect but the flavor was a bit bland. The lamb and the lobster enchiladas looked amazing and my friends seemed happy with them. The beans and rice- fantastic. The dinners I have had at the Melrose location were all fantastic. So maybe the trick here is to not substitute and when you eat here figure its a “Titanic day”.


Dessert. Churros y Chocolate. Um. YUM. Ok so you can’t really beat the ones at Disneyland – so I thought. These looked ridiculous on the plate but they were FANTASTIC. The churros themselves were decent. Not too greasy and the cinnamon sugar was perfectly balanced. They came with a Kahlua and a spicy chocolate dipping sauce.  Not gonna lie- I do feel the churro was just a vehicle for the chocolate and Kahlua.  I was tempted to pick up a spoon and just eat the sauces by themselves. Hee hee. And maybe I did 😉  I haven’t had dessert at the Red O on Melrose, but my guess is its spectacular.


As I said, the Melrose location feels like a vacation to Morocco or just somewhere that’s NOT LA. Its a little Oasis of foreign in a huge sea of Los Angeles, a  nice little escape. The lighting is moody. Big plants and planters all around. Nicely dressed people. It feels very sexy. Areas are compartmentalized at this location, which adds to the mystery vibe of the place and also helps contain the volume of talking to a decent level. No issues hearing the people with whom you are eating.

The SaMo location is very relaxed. The layout is nice and cozy. Theres a huge window in the front, displaying a fantastic view of Palisades Park and the Ocean. The seats are very comfortable. The booth seats are adorned with lush pillows that are very cozy. Its fairly loud at the SaMo location- which means you have to sit closer to your date. This is great if you really like who your with. Otherwise, learn sign language before you come here.

The interior of Red O SaMo is casual and relaxed.
The interior of Red O SaMo is casual and relaxed.

Overall I like the ambiance and main courses better at the Red O in Hollywood/Melrose. But if you live close to SaMo, the Red O Santa Monica  is a casual, fun spot with  yummy drinks, appetizers and dessert, and a great view of the ocean.

Bon Appétit!