Fat Mo’s Burgers and Car Wash has replaced Pardall Road’s burnt out Flaming Grill as Isla Vista’s latest arrival and will celebrate its grand opening during the first weekend in October — but don’t expect to see any suds.
While Mo’s offers an assortment of burgers, rice bowls, salads and desserts, it provides no car-cleaning services and appears to lack the facilities necessary for such a dual undertaking.
Owner Mo Rahseparian said the establishment’s name, while potentially misleading, provides much of the business’ character.
“So what is the ‘Car Wash’ thing about? Well, it’s about ‘who is Fat Mo?’ And ‘where is the Car Wash?’ ” Rahseparian said. “We will have different contests throughout the year, and that’s where the ‘Car Wash’ will come out — so look out for that.”
Aside from its mystifying moniker, Rahseparian said his store distinguishes itself from similar local establishments through the quality and diversity of its fare, calling it the “go-to spot” for satisfying residential burger cravings.
“We are the only burger place that offers different buns — wheat, onion or garlic — and our fresh meat patties are never frozen,” Rahseparian said. “Truly the best burgers in town — they’re so big you can’t even open your mouth to bite it.”
The restaurant is registered with online delivery service SBMenus.com and will deliver to locations on campus and throughout I.V. until 10:30 p.m. Sundays through Wednesdays. Delivery services run until 1:30 a.m. on Thursdays and until 3:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Mo’s will face steep competition from popular and well-known I.V. eateries such as Déjà Vu Café, Dog Town and Silvergreens. Daniel Dunietz, a second-year economics major, said the decision to open a burger joint in I.V.’s already teeming restaurant scene was a bold one.
“When a new place opens up like that, with a new concept, I feel like there’s got to be a good idea behind it,” Dunietz said. “Someone must have made the initial investment to go into a neighborhood where other burger establishments already existed and have the confidence to take over a burger joint that previously failed.”
Despite the competition, Rahseparian’s nephew Frankie Homayouni, a UCSB alumnus and Financial Advisor/Manager of Sam’s To Go sandwiches, said he was confident the restaurant would succeed.
“I’m stoked,” Homayouni said. “Uncle Mo is a great guy. He really knows how to run a business; I have no doubts that he will be successful. These burgers are gourmet. They are custom-made for each order, and although it may take a bit longer than some other places, it is worth it because you are getting better quality food.”