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Red O

8155 Melrose Ave. (N. Kilkea Dr.) Send to Phone
323-655-5009 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
A modern Mexican resto-lounge from Chicago chef Rick Bayless. Check out GAYOT.com's review of chef Rick Bayless' cookbook, Fiesta at Rick's.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Cuisine
Open
Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun.
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  • 3.0 star rating
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3.0 rating over 3 reviews
Dining room at Red O, Los Angeles, CA

Red O Restaurant Review

: Red O inhabits a buzzing space frequented by a scene-savvy crowd. The décor is strictly hip L.A., with a wall covered by 400 brass bells, a lounge with a 25-foot fireplace, a tequila tunnel and graceful Mexican glass chandeliers dangling high above a courtyard patio. Chef Rick Bayless designed the menu. Despite being based 1,500 miles north of the Mexican border --- his Chicago restaurants Topolobampo and Frontera Grill are legendary --- Bayless is an expert on Mexican cuisine. All traditional cuisines hold potential for experimentation and innovation, but that is probably less true for Mexican food because it is so deeply rooted in tradition, culture and soil. There’s little room for playing with the basics that reflect a history and a territory with such a strong character. So sticking to the rules with some timid forays is what chef Bayless has chosen to offer Angelenos, who are used to Mexican flavors and quite familiar with enchiladas and tacos of any description. Starters encompass a generous plating of Yucatecan shrimp and calamari ceviche, tinted green with avocado, lime and jicama cilantro. The sopes are topped with pork belly that is equal parts sweet and hot. The kitchen offers a variety of main courses, including braised short rib enchiladas with red chile sauce, wood-grilled carne asada with sweet corn tamales, shrimp with mole and slow-cooked suckling pig. Desserts feature a delightful play on a piña colada with coconut pudding and rum-soaked pineapple as well as fresh-out-of-the-oven churros. The wine list offers selections from South America at a very reasonable price. However, considering the cuisine, we might have expected to find a bottle or two from Mexico, but this slight oversight is more than made up for in the prized tequila selection that’s encased between wavy, translucent walls that create a tunnel that surrounds guests with tequila. If the night is clear, the ceiling will open to let you raise your tasty glass of Topolo, La Dama or Alacran margaritas up to the “estrellitas” of the glittering California night. Buenas Noches!

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