It was high noon on a sunny but brisk Newport Beach day. The Bentleys gleamed in the valet lot. I was first to arrive. Then Dave Lieberman in a sport coat. Then Gustavo Arellano. We'd agreed to eat at Red O together, the second outpost of Rick Bayless' controversial restaurant, which debuted last month in Fashion Island. The controversy came nearly four years ago, when Bayless—in anticipation of Red O's opening in LA—said in interviews he was intrigued "how the true flavors of Mexico" would play in Southern California. To some, the careless statement sounded ignorant to our area's ready stock of regional Mexican food specialists; to others, it was downright insulting. During a talk at a fund-raiser, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold poked fun at it. Provoked, an angry Bayless bit back in what became known in the annals of food-blogging history as the Gold and Bayless... More >>>