Roy Choi to launch Loco’l, a new healthful fast food chain

 Roy Choi
Chef Roy Choi owns Pot, a trendy hot pot restaurant at the Line Hotel in Los Angeles. Choi has just announced plans to open Loco’l, a chain of healthful fast food restaurants.
(Cheryl A. Guerrero / Los Angeles Times)

Roy Choi is looking to expand his growing culinary empire with a new chain of fast food restaurants called Loco’l. Choi and San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson on Monday announced their plans to open the healthful-food-focused concept together at MAD4, the annual Copenhagen symposium for chefs, cooks and farmers. 

The first branch of Loco’l is slated to open in San Francisco in spring 2015 and a second location is planned for Los Angeles a few months later. Choi also recently opened Commissary, a new restaurant at the Line Hotel in Koreatown, where he also has Pot, Pot Cafe and Pot Bar. Patterson is the chef at the highly praised Coi restaurant in San Francisco.

“Loco’l is the whole idea of local but loco to change,” wrote Patterson and Choi in a blog post on the MAD4 website. “Local meaning family and caring for each other and the world." 

According to the post, Patterson and Choi will work with a team of chefs that includes Tartine’s Chad Robertson, who is creating whole-grain, long-fermented buns for Loco’l. 


“We want to go toe to toe with fast food chains and offer the community a choice,” Choi told the Inside Scoop SF.  "I’m in the streets with communities and the youth everyday. The food options are ridiculously bad.”

There’s no word on actual menu items yet, but Choi and Patterson described the food at MAD4 as crossing all cultural boundaries and being representative of America now. They said they will focus on sustainability as well as healthful, whole foods at an affordable price. 

“Don’t tell me we don’t want great delicious cheap fast food,” Choi told the Inside Scoop SF. “It’s only because we haven’t been given the choice to choose, and we destroy our youth and our neighborhoods with corporations that serve addictive poison that we convince ourselves otherwise.”

Choi and Patterson plan to open locations in a variety of areas, including malls, near highways, in downtowns and “trendy neighborhoods.” But the two stressed wanting to open locations in inner city areas where healthful foods are not often an option. 


We’ve reached out to Choi for more information and will let you know when we hear back. 

More food news? Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_.

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