The biggest food story of the new year, arguably, has been New York Times critic Pete Wells's fairly bitchy review of Daniel Patterson and Roy Choi's new-style fast-food concept Locol. Many in the industry, including prominent LA Times critic Jonathan Gold, told Wells he was out of line for even reviewing Locol, given that its ambitions to provide healthier alternatives to the fast food typically available in low-income, urban neighborhoods arguably outweigh its successes and failures in the execution of the food.
"Shout-out to Pete because he got me mad in a good way,” says Choi to Inside Scoop, unveiling some revisions to the chain's menu that rolled out a week ago at its two locations in Oakland and in LA's Watts neighborhood.
But Choi says the menu changes were already in the works based on other feedback, and don't come directly as a result of Wells's review.
The changes include a more "classic roadside" style for the burgers, with lettuce, onion, tomato, and special sauce instead of the original version that featured a scallion relish and Jack cheese; a braised beef "foldie" (like a quesadilla); the nixing of the turkey burger and BBQ turkey foldies; the nixing of a couple other items including a bulgar bowl; and the addition of French fries and cheese fries, which the team had intentionally left off the original menu for health reasons. Also gone, thankfully, is use of the term "burg," and now the menu lists a cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, chili burger, and fried chicken burger.
“Locol didn’t just pop out of the womb fully formed,” Choi says further. “We are growing and morphing every day. I don’t think we are even close to what we will become in 2, 5 10 years from now.”
Prices remain very reasonable, with a burger-and-fry combo now $6, and a chili-and-salad combo just $8.
Below, the complete new menu.