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Rick Bayless’ take on regional Mexican cuisine comes to Fashion Island. Check out's review of chef Rick Bayless' cookbook, Fiesta at Rick's.
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Dining room at Red O, Newport Beach, CA

Red O Restaurant Review

: Chicago-based chef Rick Bayless’ second foray into Southern California --- his first venue is in West Hollywood --- makes a great deal of effort to tap into the sleek side of Newport Beach and its legendary shopping center. The restaurant’s intriguing, curiously Moorish décor is festooned with dark reds, deep woods and Moroccan-esque carved-out cubbyholes that house Bayless’ vast, personally chosen tequila selection. Executive chef Keith Stich takes the wheel in the kitchen, and he and his staff oversee a menu stocked with Bayless’ interpretations of regional Mexican fare. Begin your meal with starters such as the short rib sopes or a quartet of ceviches ranging from traditional albacore to the more exotic steelhead salmon. Mains are highlighted by Colorado lamb chops served in mole negro sauce and the slow-cooked carnitas pork complemented by a red chile sauce. These dishes can be paired with a host of sides, most notably the red chile kale prepared in a guajillo chile sauce. A serviceable list of desserts and a smart selection of wines round out the dining experience.

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Check out the 2014 edition of GAYOT's Annual Restaurant Issue, which features the Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S., Rising Chefs and more.