Roy Choi Co-Launches Healthy Fast Food Chain, Loco’l

The Kogi chef teams up with Daniel Patterson to open affordable restaurant chain in L.A.

Last year, Roy Choi delivered a gutsy speech to the collection of chefs, cooks, and farmers at Copenhagen’s annual MAD symposium. In it he challenged restaurants to aspire to feed and serve the greater community, rather than just well-heeled diners.

At this year’s MAD4, Choi put his money where his mouth is, announcing plans with San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson of Coi to open a healthful fast food concept called Loco’l in 2015.

To be competitive will other fast food chains, the blog notes, menu items will range from $2-$6 and include a seasonal selection of global foods. Patterson will develop most of the recipes, including a burger patty that’s partially made with grains and rice to keep costs low. Long-fermented, whole wheat buns will be also created by famed baker Chad Robertson of Tartine Bakery. Choi will handle other aspects of design and concept, with inspiration taken from skate parks and other youth culture hubs.

The project is still in it’s early stages, but this collaboration looks to be quite ambitious as Choi and Patterson envision a large number of locations in Loco’l’s future. For further details, check out their “stream of conscious” mission statement from the blog:

“loco’l is the whole idea of local but loco to change. Local meaning family and caring for each other and the world. Loco for not taking the shit that’s being passed down and perpetuated on us. It’s this push and pull of honesty, love, and revolt.

It’s delicious food that crosses all cultural boundaries, that represents what America is now. Tasty, healthful, made from whole foods, good ingredients, principles of sustainability.

We see it as a gathering place which everyone can use in a different way, and where everyone can feel comfortable. We can create workshops and bring in instructors to use the spaces as classrooms for yoga, meditation, art, wellness. Pay our staff good and treat them well. Create a culture of hospitality and caring in everyone who works there. Work with young artists to create kids toys but also to spread culture through their art. Really good lighting. Great music.

We will open in upscale malls and next to highways, in downtowns and trendy neighborhoods. But what will change everything is that we will also open in the inner city areas where there are only big corporate chains, places where you will never see real food or high quality operators. 

Delicious food for everyone. That’s the revolution.”