Thursday, January 20, 2011
If you are a TV show food fanatic like I am, you have probably come across Top Chef Masters on Bravo. This show made award winning chefs not known to the masses incredibly popular. Rick Bayless (Winner of Top Chef Masters Season 1) is a Chicago based chef who specializes in Mexican Cuisine.
What we ate:
Pork Belly Sopes with Black Beans, Salsa Negra & Sesame Seeds $13.
Beef Short Rib Tamales with Smoky Chipotle Chiles, Corn Husk $12.
Grilled Chicken Cazuela with Roasted Poblano Peppers, Caramelized Onions & Yuca in a thick Crema $14.
What We Drank:
Topolo Margaritas $12.
In California, we have very high standards when it comes to authentic Mexican food. I know a few people who have been to this restaurant and left disappointed because they expected more traditional Mexican cuisine.
I honestly loved the food. The Sopes were crunchy, the pork belly tender as it could be and the 3 pepper sauce could easily start a fire (in a good way). The Cazuela was creamy, spicy, and full of flavor.
One thing you have to keep in mind is that when it comes to traditional Mexican items such as Guacamole and Tamales, no matter how much you try to modernize them or add contemporary twists to them, they will still just be Guacamole and Tamales. This is where the problem lies.
Our Tamales were delicious, but I could have had those anywhere.
The other dishes we had really gave me a sense of what Rick Bayless' flavors are like, and truly showcased his creativity.
If you are looking to go on a weekend, don't even bother with a reservation, arrive early enough (around 7:00pm) and you can snatch a table at their Garden Patio or Tequila Lounge. These are available on a first come first serve basis.
Red O Mexican Cuisine
8155 Melrose Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90046-7016