In early January Eater shared the exciting news of Rick Bayless' participation in the forthcoming Red O, a modern Mexican eatery which has slowly been growing into the rendering we originally shared. This weekend Eater stopped by to score some never before seen photos of the still rough interior, please do take a moment to peruse all 15 photos above. As previously mentioned, Dodd Mitchell headed up the design which divides Red O into several different rooms. Though it's hard to tell what leads to what in the pictures, here's an attempted explanation. Guests enter through a large wooden door from Melrose, through a courtyard, then into an al fresco dining area where heat will emanate from the ground (no clunky space heaters needed), check out the beautiful stone floors with wooden and gold geometric detailing.
Next comes the main dining area with that little domed booth to the right of the bar, and once complete, the bar will offer swings instead of bar stools, in addition to a long 14-foot communal table made of walnut and bronze for dining. Pass the bar to the left and another smaller room to the right will serve as a secondary dining space, while across from this exists the lounge which one reaches via tequila tunnel. Check that out above. Reminiscent of the long fireplace spanning Sunset Blvd inside East, another Dodd Mitchell project, Red O too will have a 25-foot long fireplace running along the south side of the lounge looking out onto Santa Monica Blvd. There will also be a palm tree growing out of a pool of water with floating candles.
As far as food, Bayless is creating a menu that includes both authentic Mexican and lighter Cali-style dishes.
Straight from the press release:
The “Bright Bites” section will feature Ceviches and Tostadas offered on a choice of Traditional Crisp Tortilla Chips, Toasted Baguette Slices, Plantain Chips, or Crispy Jicama Slices. “Cazuelas to Share” will be larger plates meant for sharing, highlighting various regional Mexican flavors presented in a contemporary way, such as Albondigas al Chipotle with Beef & Pork Meatballs, Smoke Chipotle Tomato Sauce, Caramelized Onions, and Yukon Gold Potatoes. The “Enchiladas & Tacos al Carbon” category will focus on a few classic offerings that are the cornerstone of Mexican cuisine, while “Specialties” includes Bayless’s take on three iconic grilled entrées, such as Striped Bass Zarandeado with a Roasted Garlic Baste, Veracruz-Style White Rice, Sweet Plantains, Arugula Salad, and Salsa.
Red O will also offer a selection of “Savory Snacks,” including Pork Belly Sopes with Corn Masa, Salsa Negra, Black Beans, and Sesame, and Woodland Mushroom Queso Fundido with Vella Sonoma Jack Cheese, Grilled Red Onions, and Dark Beer. Salads, such as the RED O Salad with Romaine, Arugula, Watercress, Roasted Garlic-Lime Dressing, Crispy Tortillas Angel Hair, and Pickled Red Onions, will be substantial enough to share or enjoy as a main dish. The restaurant’s desserts are built around American classics, but with a contemporary Mexican touch. Options may include Creamy Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Caramel Corn and Mexican “Root Beer” Sauce; and an Ice Cream Cone Platter of three Homemade Cones filled with Mexican Vanilla Soft Serve and choice of toppings, such as Tequila-Infused Blueberries with Sweet Corn Crisps, and Mexican Hot Fudge with crushed Malt Balls.