A high-quality, fast casual Wagyu burger concept, Ojai Burger, is celebrating its grand opening and debut in Old Towne Orange on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at noon. The concept is a rebrand of a popular Ojai, CA establishment, Yume Japanese Burger Cafe, and will be the first of its kind in Orange County, offering a menu of burgers, fries, dessert waffles, milkshakes, and more at 238 W Chapman Ave #100, one block from Orange Plaza’s central pedestrian hub.

To celebrate the highly-anticipated grand opening, the first 100 guests in line at noon will receive a free Burger or Sandwich of their choice. Additionally, throughout the day, the menu will be offered at 50percent off and each guest will have the opportunity to spin a prize wheel at the register to win free food on a future visit and a ‘Supporter Since Day 1’ card offering 15 percent off all future orders for the entire first year. Other festivities will include live music on the shared patio.

Founded by longtime friends Michael Wu, Carl Tong, Kasper Hsu, and Peter Yang, Ojai Burger was conceived after a vacation to Ojai, CA when the friends stumbled upon a five-star burger brand Yume Japanese Burger Cafe on Yelp. After meeting with Yume’s founders, Takeshi Ozaki, a Japanese tennis coach by trade who conceptualized his passion for cooking into his first restaurant, and his wife Chikage Ozaki, the friends decided to partner with the duo in creating Ojai Burger to bring high-quality Wagyu burgers and other aspects of the Yume concept to Orange County and beyond. In creating the concept, the founders tapped their collective restaurant backgrounds with the new venture- Michael Wu, Peter Yang, and Kasper Hsu are co-founders of the nation’s leading poke concept Pokeworks, and Carl Tong, a career banker/investor is the co-founder of Miyabi Uni, a high-end Japanese restaurant based in Torrance, CA- and have plans to eventually scale the brand across the nation.

“Ever since discovering Takeshi’s Yume concept, we have dreamt of bringing his incredible Wagyu burgers to other parts of the state, and we are thrilled to finally be opening Ojai Burger in Orange’s Old Towne Plaza,” says Carl Tong. “We have high hopes that the concept will take off in Orange County, due to the demand for high-quality product and fusion cuisine that embraces the flavors of other cultures and we look forward to celebrating the Grand Opening with the local community and introducing our guests to the Wagyu burgers we fell in love with in Ojai.”

The restaurant occupies the 1000 square foot space, formerly Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and offers an intimate indoor dining space and shared patio space with neighboring Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. The Ojai Burger menu features an assortment of Japanese-American eats ranging from Wagyu Burgers, featuring patties prepared in a rich and savory marinade for 24 hours served on a brioche bun, to traditional Japanese Mochi Waffles available in unique flavors like Ume (purple yam) and Matcha. Appetizers include Karaage Chicken, Japanese Croquettes, and Takoyaki. Chicken Sandwiches and an assortment of loaded fries, such as the Topa Topa Loaded Wagyu Fries, will be served alongside milkshakes, and other offerings incorporating the flavors of Japanese cuisine at the fast-casual, counter-service concept.

“It was absolutely paramount for us to authentically represent Takeshi’s dream with Ojai Burger, which is why we’re staying true to his philosophy of serving guests with only the highest quality products at an affordable price,” adds Michael Wu. “We witnessed firsthand how Yume, which appropriately translates to “dream” in Japanese, has thrived within the Ojai community, and the ultimate goal will be to expand Ojai Burger beyond this first location in the near future to share this culinary mashup of Japanese and American cuisine far and wide.”

Emerging Concepts, Fast Casual, News