Why Red O Has a Bouncer, Er, ‘Door Host’

You're not worthy! Red O's tequila tunnel
You’re not worthy! Red O’s tequila tunnel Photo: Tatiana Arbogast

Red O is apparently booked to the gills, but what’s the story with the square-shouldered, bald bouncer doorman barring all of us reservation-less rabble from its Bayless-less hallowed halls? The unsinkable Caroline on Crack details this annoyance on Squid Ink today and already two sides are circling the issue. This time it’s not over the place of rowdy kids in L.A.’s fancy restaurants, but the place of intimidating men with clipboards. Are these really to anyone’s taste, no less considering the number of nightlife joints that have eased the practice?

There are accusations of condescension and elitism here, with hungry honchos being turned away because the bar is supposedly full, while a closer look reveals it’s not. Self-described “wine-pimp” David Haskell was rejected and promises he would have handled the harsh news with a lighter touch and maybe even some free booze, which is surprisingly, yeah kind of pimpin’. So who’s on the side of security the “door host?”

Dan “PR-Pimp” Cox (our term) understands that a Red O has to do what a Red O has to do, even after he was turned away himself. In light of a sudden white-hot bar scene that wasn’t expected, Cox sympathizes, “they are forced to deal with this huge influx of people as best they can.” He plans to reorganize his battle plan and trytry again through more prescribed channels in the weeks ahead.

Wagstaff, the restaurant’s own PR group, says this Queen’s Guard-door-policy ensures that no scheduled guest has to wait outside. But to smooth the edges off of the doorman, the restaurant plans to endow him with a non-bouncer-like stand. They might want a less smoother edge up top though, as bald bouncers are undeniably 30% scarier han those with hair. Despite the changes, he and an interior hostess will remain to make sure you have made your reservation.

Having had the misfortune of working both sides of L.A.’s vodka-and-Red Bull-drenched rope, we like to go easy on doormen/bouncers who are just doing their job in the face of some seriously annoying human beings. But eating in L.A. is such a roving adventure that a doorman could seriously deter the more free-spirited of palates, while surely some others will protest on principle after a bad experience with baldy. In the thick of serious buzz, Red O is probably not sweating the situation much. And as Ms. On Crack is quick to point out, Comme Ca is happy to feed Red’s rejects.

Red O Restaurant’s Door Policy: Bouncer or Door Host? [Squid Ink]

Oh, and since Red O is “like that,” here’s the reservations number: 323-655-5009

Why Red O Has a Bouncer, Er, ‘Door Host’