On Friday, I boarded the Blue Line Metro train to Long Beach ready for some sun and exercise as I explore the sprawling environs of LA county. I'm on the hunt for a new gig, but need a few days to myself.
It wasn't until I was half-way down to Long Beach that I remembered that Loco-L was on 103rd Street, right off the 103 St/Watts Towers stop on the Blue Line.
Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson have brought gourmet food to one of LA's most iconic, yet socially and economically neglected neighborhoods and we're all the better for it. On Friday, I saw people from all walks of life congregate to nosh over burgers and Korean-inspired stews.
Loco'L opened in 2015, addressing the needs for diverse food options in South LA, and change is slow. When you walk down 103rd street, there are a serious of store fronts [some abandoned] with a community center and well-kept up houses. This is LA after all, where the a starter home will run you $600,000 at minimum, so people have an incentive to protect their investment.
If you're not careful, you could almost walk past Loco'L. But once inside, you'll never forget it. The interior is very clean with a modern black and white decor like its fast casual dining competitors. The food is great and if you're a vegan or vegetarian there are options like "Veggie cheeseburger [sans cheese for vegans] or the Tofu bowl, which I got. The portions look very small in the huge white containers. Hip hop, R&B and pop music from 25-30 years ago blasts from speakers, keeping the energy up. I also love it when establishments keep their restrooms clean.
The one complaint I had was that the cashier was more interested in listening to a side conversation than taking the order. She repeatedly got confused about how much change to give back to me, despite the total being on the register. I could not get away from that woman fast enough.
I'm not sure if come back on my own, but maybe Ids stop by if I had friends in town.