A new healthy option has just opened in Downtown Fullerton. Ubatuba serves a small menu focused on the Acai berry, a fruit indigenous to South America, in a café-like environment.
Ubatuba comes to life through co-owner Yooch Chang. He became fascinated with Acai when it was introduced to him by his now business partner. The new restaurateur can be seen most days behind the service bar, shaping and topping acai bowls for hungry customers.
The space where the defunct Mission Market was housed has been completely changed from dreary convenience store decor to airy, laidback café.
“We wanted to create an inviting and welcoming place in the style of a Brazilian café,” said Chang.
Citing the proximity of Downtown and the nearby schools, Chang saw the perfect opportunity to move in. The space features high quality wooden tables and accents, and the walls are painted in warm tones that invite relaxation. Soft Brazilian style music permeates warmly through the space, harkening back to the lower latitudes of South America.
However, the relaxing nature of the restaurant is affected negatively by the presence of a large screen TV, which was playing Motocross highlights. Despite the intrusion of the screen, the space is still inviting.
Board games are free and accessible to patrons, encouraging groups to stay awhile. The café also features free Wi-Fi, a feature that many college students will be happy to take advantage of.
Chang opened the restaurant hoping to attract high school students due to its close proximity to Fullerton High School but noted some difficulty in doing so. “We are across the street from McDonalds and its hard to compete with their value menu,” he said.
The menu is comprised of Acai bowls, acai smoothies and empanadas. The main focus falls on the bowls. Customers can order different size servings of Acai and top it with various combinations of fruit, nuts, seeds and yogurts.
According to Chang, the Acai is served isn’t the normal runny gunk that most people are accustomed to. “Our acai is carefully sourced and we don’t mix with any artificial sweeteners or juices which results in a denser acai,” said Chang.
According to the co-owner, real Acai is not watered down, but instead is a nutritiously filling food.
The acai bowls start at $7.50 for a small, and depending on the style include several toppings. Any toppings thereafter are 75 cents each.
The empanadas are not made in house, however they are of high quality and come in an assortment of flavors. The tomato and cheese empanada was noted as a staff favorite.
“I love this place. I’ve been a fan of Acai Bowls for a long time and its nice to have one in Downtown, especially somewhere I can do my homework,” said Michael Santos, a Fullerton College student.
The restaurant is currently in its soft opening phase, with an expected grand opening coming later down the line. Current hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.