Whether the South L.A. city is ready or not, Watts has found itself at the center of a food revolution. Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson’s much-hyped sustainable, affordable fast-casual restaurant, LocoL, is finally set to open on 103rd Street in Watts at 11 a.m. on January 18.
Choi broke the news via Instagram on New Year’s Eve, but if you’re like us you kept your social media feeds on the same high shelf as your running shoes during the holiday break.
Airhorn: I am proud to officially announce we will OPEN these doors on January 18, 2016 at 11am. It’s gonna be a special day in Watts. We would love you all to come out. It’s MLK day so all the schools are off, so the neighborhood will be out in force. If you’re from Watts then you already know and if you’re visiting us that day, the Watts family is so excited to welcome you to the cradle. Let’s party. 1950 East 103rd Street 90002 Cali. Some details: 1st 100 in line get a special one of a kind collab shirt with Undefeated x LocoL, plus free food and a hug. If you camp out overnight or early in the morning then our family got you out here and will keep you company. I’ve been feeding all y’all heavy for the last 7 years here in LA on the streets and my spots and I can’t wait to see your faces here at LocoL. Also it’s gonna be an exciting thing for y’all to taste the flavors that Daniel put together. Happy New Year! #LocoL
Choi’s social media has since been blowing up with pictures of the kitchen staff—most of whom are Watts natives—in training. Photos have also showcased signature menu items like “Foldies” and grain-bulked burgers sizzling on the griddle.
Just in case you’ve always wanted to camp out in Watts but just needed a reason, the first 100 people in line on opening day will receive free food as well as a T-shirt, co-designed by Undefeated and LocoL, plus, Choi says, “a hug.”
The collaboration between the SoCal and Bay Area superchefs was first announced at 2014’s MAD food symposium and has attracted high profile partners including Noma’s René Redzepi and Tartine’s Chad Robertson. The Watts location is the first of what the gang hopes will grow into an empire, with branches in so-called food deserts like Watts and the Tenderloin as well as flagship restaurants in high-profile areas such as Beverly Hills and SoHo.
Here’s to starting off 2016 with some good-for-you, good-for-the-planet, good-for-the-community, good-for-your-wallet grub.