IRVINE, CA – Two popular Irvine food trucks have pooled their resources and creativity to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant that serves up a mix of comfort foods and new recipes.
Burnt Truck and Dogzilla have become BurntZilla, which is already gaining attention for its best-selling hot dogs and signature sliders.
But before opening the doors to their first restaurant, off Culver Drive and Walnut Avenue in Irvine, in February, Dogzilla owner Martin Tse and Burnt Truck founder Paul Cao and business partners Minh Pham and Phi Nguyen sacrificed their secure jobs in the corporate world to pursue their passion in the culinary field — much to their families’ chagrin.
They remained on the route, undeterred.
“This is it,” said Cao as he spread his arms wide, proudly showing off the 44-seat capacity at BurntZilla. “We’re happy to be here.”
Getting to this moment was no easy feat.
Cao, who graduated from UCLA with a degree in business economics, was employed at professional services firm Deloitte right after college, making $50,000 a year. His friends Pham and Nguyen graduated from UC Irvine and began making good incomes.