The New York Times reviews Locol?

I just read this article; it is an interesting inside look at why they decided to open a Local in Oakland, and about the growing pains of realizing the concept of the restaurant.

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Meh is non commital. ‘Fair’ would be a poor synonym. ‘Poor’ would not be a synonym at all.

‘Meh’ implies that something is adequate only on the sense that the speaker doesn’t care that much about subject to begin with.

How was the soup? Meh.

The soup was… there. And who cares about the soup anyway?

And, weirdly enough, also traced back partially to The Simpsons.

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What was Wells expecting? It’s a fast food joint that serves $5 burgers and $2 sides. I liked the food at the Watts location both times I visited. Sure, it wasn’t Pot or Coi, but it was tasty and cheap and I felt happy eating there. Besides, whether you enjoy the food or not, it’s hard to argue with their mission. All of this makes LocoL a bizarre choice for a target, especially considering there isn’t a NY location. I don’t see Jonathan Gold or Besha Rodell writing about east coast restaurants. Wells and the NYT should stick to spots on their home turf. Props to Roy for responding gracefully.


Great article. Surprisingly frank.

If anyone wants to try their food, They’ll be in Culver City on Jefferson BL (in front of NPR I guess) for lunch today.


Locol | Satisfactory

What the Stars Mean
Ratings range from zero to four stars. Zero is poor, fair or satisfactory. One star, good. …

Can a restaurant that’s not good be satisfactory? I’m glad that’s not my job.

Great article. ““It’s this double-edged sword that they want to swing just one way.”

Good for Choi to take the high road and not lash back. Having said that, I’ve never eaten any of his food where it left me wanting more. I get that he was the Godfather of fancy food trucks and credit where credit is due for starting that trend. But his food is just not that good.

He was an original trailblazer. Didn’t he start the truck craze ?

I thought he was supposed to open the fast-food restaurant in a crummy part of Oakland,what happened ?

And they had mentioned the Tenderloin of SF before,

Watts is watts of course. you can even potentially walk from the Towers to there making a day of it.

That’s still on track.

To this point, Patterson responds:

“You dropped one of your initial locations in arguably the most white, gentrified area in Oakland,” commented one reader in response to an East Bay Express article about the Oakland branch. “If part of LocoL’s mission is about solving the food desert issue, why build one of your few locations in one of the richest parts of the Bay Area?” Patterson bristles at that kind of comment. “I haven’t seen anyone complain that Shake Shack and Chipotle aren’t in Watts,” he says. “There’s this assumption that if we go into Watts, then we only have to go into poor, underserved communities. What the fuck is that?”

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That’s weird I remember watts, then SF’s Tenderloin ---- which is trendy now ?

And crummy Oakland.

Might as well bult the next lala land one in Beverly Hills.

I can get “tasty and cheap” at Rae’s.

To which his friend said;

“It’s this double-edged sword that they want to swing just one way,” he says. “If they were just like ‘We’re going to open a burger place,’ and it had nothing to do with opening in Watts, or food deserts, or trying to bring jobs to the community, or introducing healthy foods to people who don’t normally have access to it, then people wouldn’t be asking questions. But then it wouldn’t be getting the positive attention.”

They say the Tenderloin location is still in the works, as well as one in West Oakland. Though gentrification is in high gear in both those areas.

I admire Mr. Wells greatly, and am proud to know him. That being said, it is more than a little unfair to judge a restaurant that is so obviously a social project strictly on the merits of what one believes the restaurant to be. The fact that the burg - specifically made to be lower in salt and fat than fast food - is a little dry may be about the 17th most interesting thing about it. The world is better off for having Locol in it, and we are lucky that chefs like Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson have spent so much of their time on the 12:12 PM


I’m glad Local is in the world, too. But it’s making the mistake that the hippies made, making food that was unappealing, but pushing it anyway, because it was nutritious. Then everyone hates “health food” and distrusts anything that’s “good for you”.

It’s easy to make a turkey/beef burger with lower salt and fat. Adding tablespoon of olive oil takes care of dryness without adding saturated fat. Forget rethinking chicken nuggets, the vegan ones sold in supermarkets are actually very close to fast food nuggets, just not as greasy. Do that.

Why are they even messing around with stuff like grain in burger? I’ve never witnessed a good vegy burger, even at the trendiest and most pricy places.

It’s a problem with execution, not vision.


cut costs in the same way a JitB taco is cut with soy

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Gotcha. Maybe they should try that. Everyone loves JB. :taco::taco::taco:

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I believe you need to read the thread re: Jack in the Box tacos. Meat with non-meat additives.

of course, deep frying it and throwing a slice of american cheese on it doesn’t exactly scream low fat, or low salt… or even good taste.

Anyone here been to Locol recently?

Last time I was there it was filled with looky-loos and out-of-towners (i.e., non-Watts residents). Instead of hanging around for fast food burgers, we headed over to Watts Coffee Shop and chatted with Ms. Edwards (the owner of the Watts Coffee Shop) and she mentioned very few local Watts residents actually go to Locol. Most would rather just head down a few blocks to Hawkins if they wanted burgers or to Lee’s Market if they wanted anything else.