Where: 6558 Pardall Road, Isla Vista, (805) 968-5680
What: Isla Vista’s newest burger joint takes burgers serious, but don’t expect to return to a clean car after having devoured your half-pound burger.
How Much: Mini burgers from $3.49, items on the Car Wash Menu $8.99-$12.99, salads $4.99-$7.99.
The Dish: Fat Mo’s Burgers and Car Wash — not related to Fat Mo’s in Nashville — is the latest addition of student-friendly eateries in I.V. One can choose between Fat Mo’s burgers — such as Fat Mo’s Favorite avocado and bacon double cheeseburger with mushrooms, A-1 sauce, and swiss cheese — or you can build your very own. The menu also offers a veggie burger, a breakfast sandwich, a pizza burger, chili fries, fish & chips, salads, desserts, and much more.
This family-run business opened on September 15 with the help of “Fat Mo” Rahseparian’s brother-in-law, who owns Sam’s To Go, which is also on Pardall Road. “We wanted to be in I.V.,” said Rahseparian. “We’re just a burger joint, but we fit in perfectly.”
When asked about the “Car Wash” part of the name, Rahseparian explained that a few times a year they will do charity car washes in which all the proceeds go to a nonprofit organization. Also, a certain percentage of the sales from the special “Car Wash Menu” is donated.
I decided to take on Fat Mo’s Favorite burger and fries when Rahseparian’s wife and co-owner Nabela “Michelle” Khair offered to let me try anything on the menu. When Rahseparian brought me my order, my initial thought was, “How am I going to attack this monster of a burger?” Rahseparian also brought me a pile of napkins and said, “With my burgers, you need napkins.”
I decided that eating this burger can’t be done looking pretty, so, with no utensils in sight, I grabbed the burger with my hands and took the first bite. It was good. Although the mushrooms seemed to disappear in the midst of beef patties, lettuce, bacon, and avocado, I could taste every ingredient, including the A-1 sauce, which was a nice twist. It was just as Jules says in Pulp Fiction — “Uuummmm, this is a tasty burger” — though I had to give up halfway through Fat Mo’s Fave.