Special Sauce: How Roy Choi Plans to Change the World

royChoi_1500x1125.jpg

[Photograph: Travis Jensen. Burger photograph: Audrey Ma]

On this week's Special Sauce, Roy Choi told me that his new California-based fast food concept, LocoL, is merely trying to change the world, one mostly-meat burger at a time.

Choi (of Kogi fame) and his San Francisco chef partner, Daniel Patterson, initially financed LocoL through a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo. LocoL's menu and pricing are in line with that of most fast food chains, but the recipes are most assuredly different. Take the $5 cheeseburger. It's made with 75% sustainably raised beef mixed with grains, seaweed, tofu, and fish sauce. The properly squishy bun was developed by Tartine cofounder Chad Robertson. What else is different about LocoL? Just about everything: its locations (financially distressed neighborhoods in Oakland and Watts), the pay scale and benefits, its unique hiring criteria, and what's on the dollar menu.

To hear Choi explain his ambitious plans, you're just going to have to listen. Once you've heard this episode of Special Sauce, you'll be rooting for LocoL to succeed as much as I am.

Special Sauce is available on iTunes. You can also find the archive of all our episodes here on Serious Eats and on this RSS feed.

You Could Be on Special Sauce

Want to chat with me and Kenji? We're accepting questions for Special Sauce call-in episodes now. Do you have a long-standing argument with your brother about the best way to scramble eggs? The best way to store bread? The best menu for a wedding or a barbecue? Does your father make the soggiest lasagna, and you want to figure out how to give him tips? We want to get to know you and solve all your food-related problems. Send us the whole story at [email protected].