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New Kid in Tinsel Town: Rick Bayless

New Kid in Tinsel Town: Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless has won over many fans in Chicago with Frontera Grill’s authentic Mexican fare, but he’s bound to face a tougher crowd as he sets up shop in Los Angeles, where the locals know from good Mexican.

Red O, the “Top Chef Masters” champ’s first location outside the Windy City, is set to debut in April along trendy Melrose Avenue. The multiple James Beard Foundation award winner, PBS cooking show star and author of six cookbooks is designing a menu of authentic Mexican and lighter California-style dishes to attract a diverse clientele. The menu will be divided into sections such as Bright Bites, with ceviches and tostadas; Cazuelas to Share, or larger plates; Enchiladas & Tacos al Carbon, with classic choices; Specialties, including grilled entrees; and Savory Snacks.

Dodd Mitchell Design and G+ Gulla Jonsdottir Design teamed up on the look, which features an open floor plan and a variety of dining spaces.

A glass “tequila tunnel” connecting the dining room to the lounge will showcase a broad selection of premium pours. The bar, made of solid boulders, will lie beneath a canopy of palm trees and be surrounded by a small pool—not exactly a common site on busy Melrose