Red Onion Mexican Restaurant


The Original Red Onion Better Than Ever! By C. MacDonald

ROLLING HILLS ESTATE, CA--One of the most interesting  places to eat in California is "The Original Red Onion" (736   Bart Earle Way), the last of what once was a 26-restaurant chain that began in Inglewood 65 years ago. It offers sensational Sonora-style Mexican food with an incredible menu full of just about everything you can imagine.

One of its frequent guests is Ken Dyda, a former mayor and founder of Rancho Palos Verdes. "My favorite dish is Carne Ortega--I've never tasted steak that's so tender!," said the one-time aerospace engineer, who helped astronauts with flight simulation. "Their food is of great quality and consistency, they don't change their recipes."

Perhaps there's no need too because they were created by the current owner's great-grandmother, Catalina Castillo, who once ran a dining counter for cowboys and miners on the Sonora-Arizona border. In 1949, her son, Harry, and his two sons, Bart and Don, opened their first restaurant in Inglewood. Don eventually retired and Bart sold his chain in 1973, keeping only his Palos Verdes restaurant. The popular Rolling Hills Estate eatery, built in 1963, is located on the street now named for the late Bart and its run by his son, Jeff, as well as a dedicated group of expert and longtime chefs, waiters and other employees. Manager Ivan Flores, who has been there for many years, is very gracious, hospitable and does everything to ensure the guest's expectations are exceeded.

Not only is the service superb but the atmosphere is fascinating in itself. The interior decor is noteworthy for its authentic style as well as fascinating artwork of famous entertainers of the 20th Century and beyond. Many celeb photos and artifacts on the walls are autographed. There are even historic photos of Pancho Villa, stagecoaches and all sorts of western scenes. You'll spot signed photos of U.S. Presidents, like Ronald Reagan, and others that are displayed.

What a wonderful place for meetings (i.e., the Kiwanis Club meets there weekly), receptions, family gatherings or  just to grab a delicious Deluxe Tostada, Fajita, Chimichanga or Brown Derby Cobb Salad. Their homemade Flan dessert is delicious. They're also known for their 6-foot long Burritos. If you're planning a party, they have full-service catering that will delight! We highly recommend a visit to the Red Onion, located off Silver Spur Road at 736 Bart Earle Way in Rolling Hills Estate. For more information, visit their website at or phone:310-377-5660.

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