DESIGN DISH: Red Herring – The Clue To A Great Evening


Though Los Angeles’ Eagle Rock neighborhood has its share of restaurants — Casa Bianca, Auntie Em’s, Cacao Mexicatessan and Milkfarm come to mind — what the neighborhood has long lacked is a bistro.  Not in the sense of a place that serves French food — although one bite of Chef Dave Woodall’s galette or pate will reveal why, after a stint at Melisse, Chef Josiah Citrin tapped him to head the kitchen at Lemon Moon — but in the sense of a welcoming local spot that serves home-style seasonally-driven meals made with farmer’s market fresh ingredients.  That restaurant is now open and its name is Red Herring.


The restaurant, with its large windows overlooking Colorado Boulevard, is the culmination of a long-awaited dream of Woodall and his wife, television producer Alexis Martin Woodall (American Horror Story, Glee, Scream Queens). At once glamorous and homey, it’s the kind of neighborhood space that works as well for a date as it does for dinner with the in-laws or a casual meal with friends, or even dinner solo at the long polished bar.  


It’s clear that while Woodall’s commandeered the kitchen — his Maryland upbringing is reflected in the menu’s fried chicken and waffles, its Blue Crab cake, pan seared Channel Island Butter Fish and fried pig’s ears — his wife has directed the visuals.  Her silver screen sheen (she recently made room on her shelf for an Emmy Award for her part as Producer on The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) reveals itself in the space’s glittering touches. 


A plush banquette, designed by Martin and covered in dark teal Sunbrella velvet, and Walnut Wallpaper’s exuberant Lush pattern in coral in one corner is lit by a large bubble lamp from The Light Factory. There’s an open-work deco-themed handrail, another wall of Walnut Wallpaper upstairs and a decadent black marble-tiled bathroom.  There are even brass lamps dangling in the kitchen, glimpsed through the pass-through. 


A framework of wood keeps the space grounded: a slatted wood ceiling, Thonet-style chairs, a long dark polished bar, wooden window frames and heavy carved wooden front door.  The second floor’s large window open completely, giving the small room a welcome airiness that’s ideal for a Southern California’s balmy weather.

Red Herring, 1661 Colorado Blvd, Highland Park, CA 90041  (323) 739-0004 or via OpenTable