Crudo Out; "Coastal Mexican" In at Blanca in Newport Beach
A few months ago, Orange County had its first crudo bar in Blanca; and now, not so much. There was already signs of trouble back in July when repo men were sent to rip out equipment from its kitchens as Newport Beach police stood guard. Blanca's suppliers said the restaurant wasn't paying their bills.
Then there was word that the chef left because they were allegedly not paying him either. Now the restaurant is under new management, and most importantly, has changed over to serving "Coastal Mexican". The closest you'll get to crudo there now is most likely ceviche, which is probably for the better anyway. Blanca's crudo, while good, was exorbitant. Not the kind of meal anyone can justify paying for in this economy.
The real story here, though, is about The Mor Project, the developers who were behind Blanca and Irezumi Sushi. They seemed to have disappeared from the face of the world, or at least the world wide web. Their website (http://www.morproject.com/) is offline, and so is Irezumi Sushi's.
The first hit on Google if you search for "The Mor Project" sheds some light on why. Posted two days ago, this website called The Rip-Off Report has a post by an "investor" who is allegedly suing its founder. And if you believe what the anonymous poster has to say, it's safe to assume that the wine bar and restaurant dubbed Fleur de L’Age the group was building at The Irvine Spectrum won't be opening soon, or ever.
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Orange County dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.