Rick Bayless' Porcelain Ego and His Execrable Red O Restaurant to Besmirch Fashion Island Next Year

It's fitting that the Orange County's Register's resident press release rewriter, Nancy Luna, would be the one to break the news that Rick Bayless is opening the second location of his execrable Red O restaurant in Fashion Island next year and is excited by it.

Bayless and the Weekly, of course, share little love: I eviscerated him in 2010 after he essentially called Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold a liar because the two of us called him out on claiming he was going to introduce Southern California to the "true flavors" of Mexico, whatever the hell those are. And our Bill Esparza has hounded Rick so much that he's actually banned from following Rick on Twitter because Bill's even more vicious than me in his critiques--tee-hee!

Of course, that's going to mean nothing to the hordes of people in Orange County like Luna who think Mexican food has finally arrived in Orange County because the genre's Great White Father has finally left his Chicago perch to grace us with his presence. Luna is already playing the willing shill by breathlessly saying that Bayless is a "pioneer of modern Mexican cuisine" (um, no: Bayless has made his career, like Diana Kennedy, on merely republishing recipes taken from rustic Marias), that his seasonal menu is "a style not often tied to Mexican food" (tell that to the makers of cemitas poblanas and their use of pápalo, or those who make chiles en nogada) and that one of Red O's signature dishes will be "achiote-marinated suckling pig slow cooked in banana leaves"--which every Mexican knows as cochinita pibil and which you can find much tastier at Condé Cakes in SanTana, territory in which Luna and Bayless fans will never dare tread. Whatever: let them have their safe "authentic" Mexi food, I say!

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43 comments
James
James

It's not like Gus, Bill or Dave hang out at Fashion Island anyway. Why do you even care?

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

Did Nancy Luna end the post with,

"Tell us:

Will you be dining at Red O?"

 

 

LMFAO

ndjohnson66
ndjohnson66

Nothing is more pathetic than a racist blogger mocking someone who is actually doing something productive with his life!!! Way to go Gusty!!!

ndjohnson66
ndjohnson66

Do us all a favor, only review German restaurants.

ndjohnson66
ndjohnson66

Guess I touched a nerve you racist fuck.

ndjohnson66
ndjohnson66

What is your issue with Bayless? He sends his chefs to Mexico every year on his dime so they grasp the true essence of traditional Mexican cuisine. You seem to me to be the uniformed rambler. Do some research before you make statements of a Master Chef, which you will never be.

ndjohnson66
ndjohnson66

So what is your feeling on Koreans making sushi? Or, how about Mexicans making Italian food? Or.....lets see... Lets see how much more of a bigot you are.... Jamaicans making Chinese food??? Really. This is how you spend your life? Criticizing those who accomplish what you cannot????

nycinoc
nycinoc

According to the Register article, doesn't seem to be an actual Bayless Restaurant just one where he was hired to consult on. 

devthekoala
devthekoala

As an Orange County native, I'm insulted by this man claiming he's going to bring us "authentic Mexican food" like I've never had before, and I don't even know his back history.

IdiAmin
IdiAmin

What I find most ironic is that Red O is named after a restaurant that was successfully sued for discriminating against Hispanics. 

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

Ah yes, Klavito's Great White Whale, who has done so great damage our Mexican's amor propia. El Redactor is determined to strike through the mask of Bayless's mild and pale exterior, to expose the white supremacy lurking behind an Anglo becoming the most accomplished Mexican chef in the country. He'll take OC Weekly around the food fountains of South Coast Plaza, around the food courts of Main Place, yeah unto the fiery flames of Twitter to defeat this affront to Chicano Pride.

 

Bill_Esparza
Bill_Esparza

 @GustavoArellano You missed one thing, compa! (Full disclaimer: we are compas) Since I tossed Bayless' Order of the Aztec Eagle into the fiery pits of Mordor, he's gone further and made his twitter account private!!! What celebrity does that? Mission Accomplished. 

akbartlett
akbartlett

Love his Resturant we went to the one on melrose had a great dining experience Loved the spicy glass rimmed Margartia ! The queso fundió food was awsome So excited

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

"...the Orange County's Register's resident press release rewriter, Nancy Luna..."

 

"...and is excited by it."

 

 

LOL, LOL, LOL

PerroDoc
PerroDoc

Call me shallow but his freaky facial hair bugs me so much that I can't watch him long enough to learn anything. For all I know, he could be doing a Bangladeshi cooking show.  Either shave it off or grab a bottle of Just For Men. Looks like he's got some kind of skin disease.

RocketJ
RocketJ

Frontera grill in O'Hare is better than most airport food but more than 1,001 Mexican restaurants in OC to try before I would consider visiting Red O.

IdiAmin
IdiAmin

I still miss Cano's. Don't know how authentic it was but it was damn good.

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

You know Gus is pissed when he breaks out his fancy schmancy big words: "execrable" "eviscerated". LMREO! [Laughing My Rear End Off]

blackdutch
blackdutch

I saw an episode of his show, taped in Mexico City. He did a great job of describing the mix of cultures there, he gave a little history and then he proceeded to do a show on amazing culinary creations that came from these mixed cultures. It was all street food or small cafe's and it was one of the most tantalizing culinary profiles of a city that I have ever seen. I had no idea there was a Japanese population in Mexico City and their Mexi-Japonaise food looks fucking amazing! In fact, it was such a good show, Mexico City is on my list of places to go and it's damn near the top of the list.

 

Living in Chicago, I was excited at the prospect of getting a taste of these things but found myself staring at a menu that was like something from a sophomore at CIA's wettest and most ill-conceived dream and of course, the prices were outrageous.

 

Now I hate him. And I'm writing to you from San Francisco, just to point it out.

 

And to say "Mexi-Japonaise."

reviews2
reviews2

As many other new Mexican restaurants do they haven't researched the area if they claim they are going to bring real Mexican food to Orange County. Just like the many Chipotle knock-offs who claim they're going to finally introduce Orange County to healthy Mexican food without realizing that it already exists and that others have already made the claim.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @James It's like Duke basketball --white guy(s) succeed in an area dominated by non white guys, the people of color get upset.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @ndjohnson66 I have—Jagerhaus, Old World Deli in Costa Mesa, even the Phoenix Club way back when. And you are?

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @ndjohnson66 How about Mexicans cooking American food?  I've been to a couple of hipster 'comfort food' joints lately, all with Mexican line cooks. Fucked up every time, from over spiced yet bland (don't ask me how they did it) wings to soggy meatloaf to broken stroganoff sauce. 

 

Cheap immigrant labor wrecks yet another area.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @nycinoc No, it's a Bayless place—why else would he lend his name to it?

JetC
JetC

 @TheRefriedMexican If English is not your native language, I would understand how "execrable" and "eviscerated" can seem like "Fancy schmancy big words." Otherwise, you have highlighted your poor vocabulary rather than the author's supposed pretentiousness.

Bill_Esparza
Bill_Esparza

 @blackdutch You're on the money regarding Bayless' cuisine and menus. Anyone who knows will get what you're talking about. Pro Mexican chefs don't put up these El Torito Grill menus. 

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

@blackdutch Please don't praise Mr Bayless, even in the slightest bit. That really upsets Gus.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@Mitchell_Young @James Agree

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

 @Mitchell_Young   More bullshit lies from you—and what are you doing buying from Mexicans, anyway? Typical hypocrite...

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @JetC  @TheRefriedMexican Time to step out of your ivory tower, buddy... three quarters of the US wouldn't know what those words mean without recourse to a dictionary.

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@Mitchell_Young @Dave_Lieberman @GustavoArellano LOL!!

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

@GustavoArellano

 I'll tell you where the crappy food was. I didn't know the place's name until I recognized it on friggin' Guy Fieri last night. It was the 'Q' in the Richmond in SF. I know the cook was 'Latino' (Mexican or Guatemalan or whatever) because it's an open kitchen. I can put equal blame on the 'Anglo' server who didn't really seem to give a shit, and my not wanting to pursue the matter. The Mac and Cheese with 'Tots' also sucked -- veering to cold, grainy, and 'Tots' were soggy. How do you screw up a tatter tot?

 

Maybe it's just American food in general, but having lived in Europe for a while, even the average UK gastropub puts out higher quality stuff than 'hip' places here. Shite, average German autostop has better food than here. Without Mexicans or Poles or Bangladeshis or  whoever.

 

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @Dave_Lieberman  @GustavoArellano

In fact, I worked my way through university by prepping, cooking,  dishwashing, and doing pots at the school's faculty club. Worked construction too -- occupationally wise, I'm more Mexican than your boss.

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

 @Mitchell_Young  @GustavoArellano You've so obviously never set foot in a restaurant kitchen... it makes me laugh. Yes, they care if your sauce broken, because if your sauce is broken then the chef gets pissed off and they have to re-make your dish while still keeping up with the rest of the line.

 

Also, shocking as it may seem to you, line cooks have pride in what they do. Read Anthony Bourdain if you don't have access to a restaurant kitchen to watch; Mexicans will just get it done, where the classically trained Europeans complain about having to do the same thing perfectly 100 times in a row.

Mitchell_Young
Mitchell_Young

 @GustavoArellano It's pretty hard to eat out at all without 'buying from Mexicans', at least here in California.  But like the dude I was eating with at the place I had the stroganoff said "The guy's probably making $8.50 an hour, he doesn't give a fuck if your sauce is broken'. 

 

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