Red O by Rick Bayless; Mooi in Echo Park; Jason Travi, Mesa's new executive chef
Red O by Rick Bayless -- Bayless' first restaurant outside of Chicago -- is set to open next Wednesday on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. Bayless, chef, author and TV personality (whose restaurants include Topolobampo and Frontera Grill in Chicago), created the modern Mexican menu and trained the kitchen staff. The menu features a ceviche selection (served on tortilla chips, toasted baguette, plantain chips or jicama slices); family-style cazuelas to share such as albondigas al chipotle; enchiladas and tacos; entrees including striped bass with Veracruz-style rice; and snacks such as pork belly sopes. Dodd Mitchell and G + Gulla Jonsdottir designed the restaurant. A glass tequila tunnel between the dining room and lounge features the tequila selections. 8155 Melrose Ave., (323) 655-5009, www.redorestaurant.com.
Echo Park raw and vegan restaurant Mooi is scheduled to open Thursday in a two-level corner space of the Jensen Rec Center on Sunset Boulevard. Monday to Saturday, the restaurant will be open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving juices, desserts and Intelligentsia coffee, with a limited menu of breakfast and lunch dishes. Dinner is offered Wednesday to Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m. (Sundays are for brunch.) Desserts are a specialty of proprietor Stephen Hauptfuhr; expect a vegan ice cream bonanza. 1700 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, www.mooifood.com.
Mesa -- in Costa Mesa -- announced that new executive chef Jason Travi has added spring dishes to the restaurant's menu. The restaurant is kicking off the arrival of Travi, formerly of Fraiche in Culver City and Santa Monica, with a Tuesday-to-Saturday cocktail party. “House Party ‘til Sundown” runs from 6 p.m. until the sun sets, with free small bites of the chef’s additions. New items include salt cod fritters with romesco, wood-fired roasted shrimp with kale and chickpeas; and Port Brewing "Old Viscosity"-braised short ribs. There's a new cocktail menu (take for example, the Clash, house-infused tangerine vodka with arbol chiles, Tuaca, lime and cilantro) and something called "flask service" -- your choice of spirit in a 9-ounce vintage flask, along with two house-made mixers for $100 (for $125 guests may keep the flask). 725 Baker St., Costa Mesa, (714) 557-6700, www.mesacostamesa.com.
-- Betty Hallock
Photo: Mango, avocado and strawberry salsa in corn tortilla at Mooi. Credit: Mooi restaurant.