If you’ve got a couple hours to kill in between checking out of your hotel and checking in for your flight, skip the In-N-Out (go on, admit it, you were thinking “Double Double”), and drive east 20 minutes on the 105 to Watts. No, not to see Simon Rodia’s towers—this is a different kind of pilgrimage, the kind that’ll fill up your body as well as your soul. The first branch of LocoL the healthy fast-food chain founded by San Francisco chef Daniel Patterson and Korean taco-truck mogul Roy Choi, opened here on MLK Day, drawing Hollywood celebs (Lena Dunham and Jon Favreau) and huge crowds. The starpower’s fine and all, but the real point is that is the kind of place where the burger buns have a Tartine pedigree and the beef dip is a neighbor’s recipe, the kind of place that hires dozens from the hood, the kind of place that’s making Watts ground zero for an edible revolution. So pick up a turkey foldie…then go pay your respects to those towers already.
All photos courtesy of Audrey Ma