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Red O by Rick Bayless

Have heard nothing in months about Rick Bayless' Red O. I know that it opened several months ago, but have heard nothing recently. Has anyone been there recently? Is it good?

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Red O
8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

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  1. good enough for streetgourmetla good enough for me!

    1. It would be a great mexican restaurant in a town that isn't known for its mexican restaurants, like London.

      8 Replies
      1. re: yogachik

        meaning what? Was it good? What was good about it? What places in LA were comparable and better? As much as LA is a good Mexican food town, I really don't think there are more than a handful of really high quality, contemporary mexican places in the whole southland - sadly. I am presuming that Red O is aiming to be that? Would be great to hear more about your experience and how it compares to something like rivera or huasteca, etc.?

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        Red O
        8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

        1. re: adamclyde

          My take on yogachick's post is that she finds Red O will have a difficulty time convincing anyone in LA that loves good Mexican food that it's worth either the money it will set you back, or the scene it will make you endure, to dine there. YMMV

            1. re: Servorg

              What is YMMV? I'm not exactly a newbie, but these abbreviations...

                1. re: Servorg

                  Yes, Servorg's take is correct.

                  It's extremely expensive, drinks are fairly weak, food is good, but not great. Our waiter literally steered us away from various items on the menu, 3 out of the 6 of us had to make a sudden change to what we wanted to order as a result. What the waiter did recommend, however, was very very good. Our bill was $70/person.

                  But LA has so many amazing mexican restaurants with interesting flavors, and strong drinks, for half the price. A city like London could use Red O, but we don't really need it.

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                  Red O
                  8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                  1. re: yogachik

                    I agree wholeheartedly. I have gone a few times and each time spent almost $100 per person on food that is good, not great. I was worried the first time when they brought out the guac, my guac is better.

                    La Serenata is better and cheaper. Now the restaurant IS gorgeous and the staff was nice, but almost a $100 per person for that?

            2. Let me preface this by saying that I live in the greater NYC area, it's part of my job to entertain and I regularly eat at some of the best restaurants in NY. I travel regularly to LA and am always excited to try new places. On a trip last week I brought my college aged niece as her birthday present and we did the whole 'see and be seen' thing in LA - Bar Marmont, Osteria Mozza, stayed at Sunset Marquis etc. I had made reservations for Red O several weeks ago for Friday night primo 8:30 slot. I also had a back up reservation at Gjelina for 9:30pm that I had meant to cancel earlier in the day. Thank God I got busy and forgot.
              We arrived at Red O on time, were barely greeted and dragged through the restaurant to the very depths of restaurant Siberia. A table barely 2 feet off the floor in the far corner of the "Tequila Lounge" next to a large rowdy group. I looked at the hostess and asked for a proper table. She said this was it. We sat down, I looked at my niece and said "Let's get out of here". We just up and walked out. Saw the hostess on the way out - told her we were leaving, no reaction, so we just kept going. Got our car back from the valets (the only friendly people we encountered there) and drove to Venice and had an absolutely amazing meal with excellent service.
              I've eaten at Topolobampo and Frontera and was really looking forward to the meal. However, I'm not spending my money at a place that is not interested in my business. There are too many great restaurants that are more than happy to treat you like a customer. I don't need obsequiousness but I won't accept rudeness. Run, don't walk, away from Red O.
              We got our taco fix from a truck the next day.

              2 Replies
              1. re: elynchking

                I call it Dread O.
                Gjelina is so great...please tell us about your "absolutely amazing meal with excellent service."

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                Gjelina
                1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  Dread O - perfect!
                  As for Gjelina, we were seated immediately at a great table on the patio by the firepit which was perfect on a chilly evening. The place was hopping but we were certainly able to easily carry on a conversation.
                  We shared everything and started with a charcuterie plate, followed by the mushroom, goat cheese, fontina and truffle oil pizza and then on to the pork belly with polenta and the gnocchi pomodoro. The service was friendly and casual (but attentive) throughout. Turned out one of our servers, Oscar, is a Survivor alum which was fun for my niece from Canada. He was delightful and comped us the butterscotch pot de creme with salted caramel for her birthday.
                  It was a beautiful evening under the stars and I think we enjoyed it even more because we felt like we had escaped a likely terrible evening at Red O which would have cost us twice as much.
                  The food highlights for me were the pork belly, pizza and the dessert. The only thing I wasn't that crazy about was the Gnocchi but only because the sauce was a little too sweet for me - I prefer more agro less dolce.
                  Our evening here ended up being the highlight of the trip.

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                  Gjelina
                  1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

              2. I tried Red O a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. The enchiladas suizas with crab was excellent as were the small shot rib sopes. It is expensive but I would go back for these two dishes alone.

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                Red O
                8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ernie

                  we loved Frontera Grill and Topolobompo and were uber excited to try Red O. i was cautiously worried about being disappointed but it was GREAT.

                  yes, it's expensive, but it's not street food. it's elevated, authentic Mexican.

                  i had the cochinita pibil which was amazing and the bunuelos were to die for.

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                  Red O
                  8155 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                  1. re: veee

                    Sadly, we went back one year later and things have gone downhill.

                    I had been dreaming about the cochinita pibil but this time around, it was dry and not as flavorful. Probably too lean.

                    and then the banuelos... they are now called churros and they were just average churros. So disappointed.