This past weekend, we scored the hottest reservation in town, dinner at Rick Bayless’s (winner of Top Chef Masters) new ode to Mexican cuisine, Red O Restaurant, where haute cuisine meets Hollywood. Roll out the red-carpet…there’s a bouncer at the front door in case one might think they can squeeze in last minute. I can assure you; one cannot.
Past the “cabana boys” at valet, past the said “bouncers” before entry and past the Maître d’, where you are welcomed like the V.I.P. that you are, enter into the serene open patio that evokes a glamorized Old Mexico. Our table wasn’t quite ready (Hollywood likes to keep em waiting), so we headed to the bar where we lounged with Margaritas and Sangria. We had just gotten cozy when it was time for the main event.
The menu is made up of so many seductive canapés, that we decided to nix their Celebrated Seven and order an array of Bright Bites, Savory Snacks, and Cazuelas for Soft Tacos. Our enthusiastic (and polished) waiter assured us that we couldn’t go wrong. He was so right. From the Alaskan Halibut Ceviche to the Sweet Plantains to the Corn and Goat Cheese Tamales, each bite was a journey that lead us to the final act of greatness, individual servings of Cazuelas that we could spoon into a homemade corn tortilla. Decadent, indulgent and just plain delicious, the Grilled Chicken in Crema Poblana rocked my world, while my husband went crazy over the Mazatlan Blue Shrimp.
One thing is for sure, once past the velvet rope, it’s all about the food. Take note, Hollywood, this new star has the recipe for longevity.
Red O Restaurant. 8155 Melrose Avenue. Los Angeles. CA. 323-655-5009 | Note: They book a month in advance.[print_link] [email_link]