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Old Hollywood Dining Concept Arrives in Rancho Mission Viejo


Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge, helmed by Executive Chef Paige Riordan recently opened its doors in Rancho Mission Viejo.  With the luxe and allure of old Hollywood, the modern speakeasy combines elevated comfort cuisine and East Coast classics balanced with West Coast ingredients and influences.

An East Coast native, Riordan has cooked in some of New York’s most prestigious restaurants including Reynard at The Wythe, widely recognized for bringing farm-to-table cuisine to NYC. She attended culinary school at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, where she honed her skills in holistic, plant-based cuisine guided by whole foods and wellness.

Prior to attending culinary school, Riordan was a professional dancer and choreographer. For several years, she owned a dance company that performed all over New York called Scarlet Fever, which inspired the name of the restaurant. 

“Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge is my new stage. As a choreographer, my goal was to make people feel confident, sexy, strong, and complex,” comments chef-owner Paige Riordan. “My goal with this restaurant is to elicit those same emotions in guests, through beautiful, balanced cuisine and a captivating atmosphere.”

Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge is a family-owned business in every sense of the word. Riordan’s husband, mother, and father are all involved in the day-to-day operations at the restaurant. Riordan is joined in the kitchen by her father Marty Manley, a former East Coast commercial fishing captain, who attended culinary school at the Art Institute of Orange County.

The father-daughter duo attended their respective culinary schools simultaneously, and much like the menu at Scarlet itself creates a convergence of East Coast meets West Coast. Her husband Matt Riordan, a former finance executive, will run front-of-house operations as the restaurant’s general manager; and her mother, Anne Manley co-owner and CFO of a family-owned business on the East Coast will manage business operations including HR and financials.

The menu at Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge features family recipes and East Coast classics brought to life with the finesse and flair of West Coast farm-to-table cuisine. Stand out dishes include Liquid Gold, an over 100-year-old Riordan ragout recipe which originated in Florence, Italy; time-honored New England classics including Clam Chowder and Lobster Rolls, and a vegan Beet Tartare which celebrates the vibrancy and abundance of the California coastline.

Stand-out dishes include: 

In addition to its East Coast meets West Coast cuisine, Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge boasts a libations program that celebrates classic speakeasy era cocktails served in elegant, vintage-style glassware as well as an all-California beer and wine list.

Open nightly from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays with entertainment and live music. The restaurant will expand its hours to offer weekend brunch in spring 2020.

Scarlet Kitchen & Lounge located in Rancho Mission Viejo’s Sendero Marketplace at 30865 Gateway Place.

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