A restaurant only offering hamburgers is a tough sell. Between cheap eats, quick service bites and casual restaurant chain spots, there is little room to find an audience willing to go out of their way for a premium burger, but Sunnyvale’s Nom Burger has done just that.
Conceived by owner Regina Chan, whose parents own the Bay Area Prolific Oven chain of restaurants, Nom Burger is a full service burger restaurant offering only burgers, fries, tater tots and drinks, and Chan said it was a deliberate decision. Her entire goal was to do one thing well: create the best burger on the market.
“It’s hard to make so many things really good versus just trying to your best to make one thing really good, which is why our menu is so small and why we don’t do salads or sandwiches,” she said. “That’s also why we don’t do chicken or other different types of burgers, because to me a burger is really beef. It’s a beef patty between two buns. So, it’s fun to kind of challenge myself to see what we can do with beef patties between two buns.”
Chan’s burgers are more than just a beef patty between two buns. Nom Burgers are a seven ounce proprietary blend of grass-fed, hormone-free patties ground in-house, piled with creative and unique toppings and set between a house-made brioche bun—all of which help the restaurant stand out among its competitors.
“You’ll see on our menu that we don’t have a lettuce, tomato option and that’s on purpose,” said Chan. “There are tons of places where you can get that, but here we kind of want to reinvent the burger and put things on it that normally you wouldn’t have seen.”
The closest Nom Burger offering to a traditional burger is the popular Nom Burger with gruyere cheese, caramelized red onions, butter lettuce and tomato aioli. Other options include the #DATEGGDOE with pancetta, garlic aioli, a crispy cheesy egg, bacon, green onions, pickled jalapenos and siracha mayo and the Hoi-Sin Hoi-Sum with pickled cucumbers, green onions, fried wonton skin and hoisin glaze. Each month, Nom Burger also creates a Burger of the Month and Chan recommends guests order their burgers medium rare so they can truly taste the patty.
“If you want a really hearty, delicious burger that was made with simple ingredients and only in house, and you want to try something different, something that nobody else has, then Nom Burger is the place for you,” said Chan.
“I’m very blessed and very lucky that Nom Burger is doing well,” she continued. “It makes all the hard work worth it when somebody tells me this was the best burger they’ve ever had, which happens pretty often. So, it’s a really, really great feeling.”
Two years ago, Nom Burger participated in the Bacon and Beer Classic at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium where it won best savory dish, and this past February the restaurant, in collaboration with Tap’T Beer and Kitchen, which is next door and also run by Chan, won the best overall dish honors with a pork belly taco—something atypical for Nom Burger but falls into the wheelhouse of Tap’T offerings.
Nom Burger is at 251 W. Washington Ave. in Downtown Sunnyvale and open six days a week. Visit www.nom-burger.com for more information or follow the restaurant on Instagram, @nombuger.