Amuse Bouche: Rick Bayless

We asked the Chicagoan, Top Chef Master, and consulting chef at Red O, Hollywood’s new upscale Latin spot—who has better Mexican food, Chicago or L.A.?
sommelier_p Illustration by Jason Lee

“It’s just different. I feel like they both embrace and love Mexican food. When I began my places in Chicago, no one knew what authentic Mexican cuisine was—it was still cheesy beans and platters with sour cream. Mexican food has come a long way since then. Think about last year’s Top Chef Masters—don’t you think it is pretty wild that Mexican food beat out French and Italian? That says it all.”

What the heck took you so long to open a spot here? 
“I wanted to be sure that Los Angeles was the place for me—I had been outof the L.A. restaurant scene for quite a while. But after a few trips and eating my way through a lot of hot spots, I felt I could contribute something to the restaurant community here.”

Anything special for us Angelenos? 
“I really tried to take advantage of the produce that is available to California all year round, and I have a wonderful ceviche section on the menu.” » Red O, 8155 Melrose Ave., L.A., 310-310- 3003.