Is Tortillaz Aspiring to be Chipotle?

I'm not saying that every Mexican chain like Cafe Rio is trying to copy Chipotle. Even though it says it's not, Taco Bell is doing it. And why wouldn't they? It makes business sense to aspire to the same kind of success that Steve Ells Mexi-chain has achieved. There's nothing wrong with that.

But so far, I've noticed that most of the new Chipotle aspirants seem to come from somewhere out of state. Costa Vida, which is poised to open its first OC store sometime soon in Irvine, next to Strickland's, is also a Utah-based chain like Cafe Rio.

Now Irvine's going to see more entrants in the genre. But this time, it appears they're local. Thatguy542, one of our most prolific tipsters, has noticed that a restaurant called Tortillaz is opening not one but two locations in Irvine. The first to debut will be at 2222 Michelson in Irvine, at the Michelson Marketplace, the same plaza as The Chippy, Franco's Pasta Cucina and Renzo's A Taste of Peru. The second will be at 2646 Dupont Dr., also in Irvine.


the slick website

, which they seemed to have spent an inordinate amount in designing, Tortillaz will offer burritoz, tacoz, tortaz and burrito bowlz. The "z's" are theirs, not mine. And there's a lot more where that came from, because they also sells "sidez" and "quesadillaz." The proteins will include not just carne asada and chicken, but also grilled fish and shrimp. There will also be a vegetarian option.

It still remains to be seen whether they'll operate with the same assembly-line model as Chipotle and its copycats, so it may be premature to categorize them as such; but I would be surprised if they don't. Why wouldn't they? There's nothing wrong with that.

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