During this year’s MAD4 symposium, West Coast chefs Roy Choi (Pot, Kogi Korean BBQ, The Commissary) and Daniel Patterson (Coi, Alta, Plum Bar, Haven) announced that they would team up to launch Loco’l, a new fast food concept that “aims to supplant the fast-food chains and convenience stores that separate our youth from the taste of real food,” according to MADFeed.
Patterson detailed the chef’s decision to collaborate on a fast food concept on MAD’s blog. During last year’s MAD symposium, Choi discussed the tremendous issue of hunger in America and the lack of access to food that continues to plague low-income communities, despite being close to affluent neighborhoods.
Inspired by Choi’s commitment to the social responsibility of chefs, Patterson writes, he contacted Choi with the idea of creating “a new kind of fast-food restaurant that served real food in a nice environment, and which could contribute to the neighborhood around it in myriad ways.”
Beginning in California (first San Francisco's Tenderloin neighborhood, and then Los Angeles), Loco’l will offer menu items that cap at $6, using well-sourced ingredients to create a cross-cultural menu that the chefs would like to eventually expand across the country.
“We see it as a gathering place which everyone can use in a different way, and where everyone can feel comfortable,” writes Patterson. “We can create workshops and bring in instructors to use the spaces as classrooms for yoga, meditation, art, wellness. Pay our staff good [sic] 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.”
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Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.