ojai burger

Restaurant of the Week: Ojai Burger

What do you get when you mix Japanese flavors with American burgers? Ojai Burger, which opened in Orange this summer.

Ojai Burger makes this incredible fusion available to the Orange County area after its owners were inspired by the high-quality menu at Yume Japanese Burger Cafe in Ojai. Old Towne Orange seemed like the perfect place to anchor the newly opened fast-casual concept because its charm is so reminiscent of the picturesque city escape that people love about Ojai.

The menu is separated into six key sections: appetizers, fries, burgers, sandwiches, milkshakes and desserts. For our appetizer, we tried the Takoyaki, which has been popular since 1935 when it was invented by a street vendor in Osaka named Tomekichi Endo. These crispy balls are filled with octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger and green onion to create a deliciously light snack or starter.

If you like loaded French fries, you’ll love the offerings at Ojai Burger. Meat toppings, sauces and spices make the eatery’s eight variations extremely unique. We tried the loaded Wagyu fries, and they were our favorite item of the night. The culinary team takes crispy fries and tops them with Japanese Wagyu beef, Ojai BBQ sauce, Kewpie mayo and furikake. We ate every single crumb! If you’re not into having your fries piled high, there is a fuss-free lightly salted option.

Next, we tried the Chief Peak Burger and the Ojai Chicken Sandwich for our entrees. The burger is made with a Wagyu beef patty, demi-glace sauce, sauteed onions and mushrooms, Kewpie mayo and shredded cabbage on a soft, pillowy brioche bun. The beef patty is incredibly flavorful with a perfect texture, with each additional element working together. The chicken sandwich is constructed with a crispy fried karaage chicken thigh, karaage mayo, black pepper, Kewpie mayo and shredded cabbage on the same incredible brioche bun. The breading on the chicken is extremely light and allows you to enjoy the crunch while still getting the full flavor of the chicken thigh.

Last and certainly not least are the milkshakes and waffles. We love mochi doughnuts and couldn’t wait to try its square cousin. The milkshakes are available in ube, cookies and cream, chocolate, berries, vanilla or matcha and can be topped with Oreo, mochi waffle pieces or whipped cream. We ordered the vibrantly purple ube milkshake with Oreo and mochi waffle pieces, and it was as delicious as it was gorgeous. The mochi waffles come in original, ube or matcha flavors; we chose an original mochi waffle sundae. Using special flour called mochiko sweet rice flour, Ojai Burger’s mochi waffles take on a bouncy texture unlike any waffle you’ve had before.

Ojai Burger is open Sunday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For more information on Ojai Burger, visit www.eatojaiburger.com.

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