It's long been speculated that management behind Red O, the modern Mexican restaurant cheffed by Chicago's Rick Bayless — which hit Melrose back in 2009 and spread to Newport Beach this past fall — would open a branch in place of Ma'Kai Lounge in Santa Monica. Since those initial rumblings four years ago, the eatery has distributed business cards stating that a Santa Monica outlet is "coming soon," and just recently Thomas Schoos, the guy who just designed Brian Malarkey's Herringbone at the Mondrian, said he'll be running aesthetics at Red O in Santa Monica.
Red O is a work by Mike Dobson and Rick Teasta of Ma'Kai Lounge, and right now the popular Westside drinking place is undergoing renovations. See right here this City Architectural Review Board Report that links 101 Broadway, present home to Ma'Kai, to "Red O Santa Monica, LLC." Also, the Executive Summery starts with, "The applicant proposes to remodel the façade to accommodate a new restaurant tenant, Red O…" Some early design notes include "new wood trellis structures along both the Ocean Avenue and Broadway" made from reclaimed gray cedar wood and creeping fig. Additionally, "New planter boxes, constructed of weathered IPE wood and containing Blue Agaves, will enclose the spaces. The Ocean Avenue enclosure design includes a glass patio rail and glass panel ceiling in order to provide additional protection from the elements. The Broadway enclosure is topped with a canvas sunbrella material. The existing building walls on the street level will be painted an alabaster (off-white) color. The interior fireplaces that are proposed will be exposed to the outside with fixed glazing set within steel frames." It's official.
· Architectural Review Board Report [~ELA~]
· All Red O Coverage [~ELA~]