Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson's LocoL opened with a bang in Watts yesterday, as lines stretched around the corner and down the block from the 103rd Street storefront. Balloons arched the street as locals, politicians, celebrities, food media, and anyone interested in the genre-bending fast food brand stopped in to get a look at the action.
Jon Favreau worked the room early while Choi kept the line upbeat; later, Lena Dunham and Gillian Jacobs ducked inside for food. Football legend Jim Brown showed up in a blue Bentley to cut the ribbon while mayor Eric Garcetti made a cameo around 1 p.m. Even Tony Konecny, founder of Tonx and the man behind LocoL's $1 specialty coffee initiative, was on hand to welcome in the new restaurant.
The first customers arrived well before 8 a.m., and by 11:15 a.m. the line was moving in chunks of 15 people at a clip, though most folks didn't start eating by closer to noon. Still the process was impressively coordinated and never fell into mania, instead keeping an upbeat tone — the DJ on hand helped — throughout the early afternoon.
The corner location itself is as functional as it gets, with blank cubes for seating and a small patio out back. Menu signage wraps the room, while big, open windows sit under roll down metal doors meant for locking up at night. The whole thing is situated across the street from Florence Griffith Joyner elementary school, which is smart for any place — Roy Choi or not — serving burgers and chicken nuggets.
Speaking of which, Patterson and Choi's menu is a mix of fast food favorites and modern staples, though fries and sodas are noticeably absent from the options. There's also nothing over $6, including $4 breakfast toad in a hole options (the breakfast menu isn't available quiet yet) and $2 taco amalgamations, called in LocoL parlance 'foldies'.
Hours right now run 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.