SEOUL, Jan.25 (Korea Bizwire) – Chef Roy Choi (46), well-known in the U.S. as a food truck legend, has set foot on a meaningful journey to provide healthier fast food.
The LA Times reported on Choi’s new fast food joint called ‘Locol’ in Watts, South Los Angeles.
Roy Choi, who was born in Seoul, Korea, launched his L.A. food truck business in 2008, rapidly rising to prominence as the creator of ‘Korean tacos’. The Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine with kimchi and bulgogi (marinated beef), two of the most representative Korean dishes, made Choi the food truck star of L.A.
Watts is a region with a high population of African-Americans. In 1965, a large riot occurred, killing 34 and injuring over 1,000 people. However, the still underdeveloped area is called a ‘food desert’, as fresh food is either hard to find or extremely expensive.
In collaboration with San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson, Choi opened ‘Locol’ in the area to provide residents with better food.
‘Locol’ is derived from the Spanish word ‘loco’, meaning ‘crazy’, and the English word ‘local’.
Choi’s idea to provide healthy and delicious food to a low-income group touched Pattison, and pushed him to participate.
A total of $128,000 in seed money was amassed through cloud funding. After a year and a half of preparation, the first ‘Locol’ restaurant was opened in Watts on January 18. The opening was a big success, with more than 2,000 people attending, including L.A. Mayor Eric Gasetti.
The menu is similar to other fast food joints with cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets, but the quality ingredients and high-caliber chefs make the food taste so much better.
The prices are also reasonable, with $4 burgers on the menu. Choi serves the food with fruit juice instead of soft drinks. He eliminated kid’s menus so that people of all ages can enjoy healthier foods.
In a recent interview with NBC, Roy explained his motivations behind the creation of the new restaurant. “Locol is an expanded version of the food truck. Providing good, healthy food, and inspiring people to change their perspective about food is what I have wanted to do all my life,” Choi said.
“Many adults in Watts grew up with no childhood memories or experiences. If Locol can succeed in this area, the local children can grow with good memories of natural food instead of frozen dinners or processed food,” he added.
Locol is planning to open its second and third restaurants in disadvantaged neighborhoods located in San Francisco. Choi’s ultimate goal is to establish Locol restaurants across the U.S.
By Francine Jung (email@example.com)