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Behind the look: Red O restaurant on Melrose

June 16, 2010 |  7:26 am

RED O_main dining_Skott Snider
The Rick Bayless-created menu at Red O may have been the source of much foodie anticipation, but for design fans, the new restaurant’s look could steal the show.

RED O_tequila tunnel_Skott Snider Located in the former Chocolat space on Melrose Avenue, Red O features soaring ceilings, a 25-foot-long fireplace and a snaking glass "tequila tunnel," at right, where the premium liquors are displayed floor to ceiling. Drama? Check.

But despite the name, there's only one red object in the entire restaurant: a striking Janus et Cie chair that looks as if it's made of bent red sticks. Designers Dodd Mitchell and Gulla Jonsdottir are responsible for the look that casts those sweeping decor statements in a mostly quiet rainbow of beiges, browns and ivories.

Thomas Piscitello and Neal Wagner of the nearby store and interiors firm Mogul were responsible for designing, manufacturing and purchasing the restaurant's elements, many of which involved trips to Mexico. Hundreds of small church bells hang at one end of the main dining area, pictured at top. In the courtyard are a pair of massive chandeliers that were made by Mexican artisans; in a hallway that leads to the restrooms, Piscitello and Wagner fashioned small chandeliers using Mexican fishing nets.

"There are really sleek elements blended with a kind of casual sophistication that makes you feel welcome," Wagner says. "We wanted it to feel like you were on vacation at a high-end resort in Cabo." A new take on staycationing?

8155 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 655-5009

Keep reading to see more photos ...

RED O_tequila lounge_Skott Snider
Photo: The tequila lounge.

RED O_main bar_Skott Snider

Photo: The bar, including bent walnut shelves meant to evoke wine barrels.

RED O_dining atrium_Skott Snider
Photo: The dining atrium.

-- Alexandria Abramian Mott

Photos from Red O

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