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Locol’s Roy Choi Responds to Scathing NYT Review, and More A.M. Intel

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Is that actually a caricature of NYT critic Pete Wells hanging inside Locol?
Patricia Chang

Chef/owner Roy Choi responds to Locol’s zero-star New York Times review

After yesterday’s goose egg of a review from the New York Times for fast food gamechanger Locol, everyone was waiting to see how chef/owners Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson would respond. Well, the wait is over, and the duo has refreshingly decided to take the high road. Choi posted a lengthy response on Instagram, and Patterson simply retweeted it. You can read it in full below.

Zero stars. I know many of you want me to respond or snap back at him but the situation to me is much more than that. I welcome Pete's review. It tells me a lot more about the path. I don't know Pete but he is now inextricably linked to LocoL forever. So I'll share with you what I wrote to a friend and our team. We got that PMA: "The truth is that LocoL has hit a nerve. Doesn't mean all people love it, some hate it. But no one is indifferent by it. That's the spirit of LocoL. It has nothing to do with my ego. It's something bigger than all of us. Pete Wells is a component to its DNA. His criticisms are a reflection of us and the nerve that LocoL touches. And our imperfections. Also the nerve of challenging the binary structure of privileged thought patterns and how life is not just about what's a success or failure, but some things are real struggles and growth journeys. We all know the food is not as bad as he states. Is it perfect? NO. But it's not as bad as he writes. And all minorities aren't criminals either. And all hoods aren't filled with dangerous people either. But the pen has created a lot of destruction over the course of history and continues to.. He didn't need to go there but he did. That's why he's a part of LocoL. The power of this change and this nerve that it hits. It compelled him to write something he knows would hurt a community that is already born from a lot of pain and struggle.. Crazy, right? But I see it as a piece to this whole puzzle." #LocoL #Watts #Oakland

A photo posted by Chef Roy (@ridingshotgunla) on

Berkeley’s Urban Remedy opens Saturday

Health store Urban Remedy’s great East Bay expansion continues, with its Berkeley location debuting this Saturday, January 7 at 2946 College Ave. That marks the ninth story for the juicing and clean eating brand, and the third East Bay location in six months (Walnut Creek and Lafayette are open, one of which is in the top three stores for revenue). Next up is Oakland in the spring, but for now, the Berkeley grand opening on Saturday will offer a free item from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fillmore’s Woori Food Market undergoes a redo

The Chronicle’s Jonathan Kauffman notes that Woori Food Market (1528 Fillmore St.) has undergone both a physical and conceptual renovation. While sprucing the store’s design up, owner Eric Kim has also seriously ramped up food production in a commercial kitchen at the back of the store, where new chef Basilio Gang (who moved here from Korea for this job) makes Korean specialties (gimbap, kimchi, jokbal, banchan, and more) daily.

Sonoma’s LaSalette has reopened

Chef Manuel Azevedo (Tasca Tasca, Cafe Lucia) has reopened his popular LaSalette in Sonoma, with a new tasting menu format. Now, you can order a three- or five-course tasting menu of dishes from Azevedo’s childhood, such as roast California squab with rice or New Year’s Day Dungeness crab. With this menu reinvention, gratuity is now also included in the set price, and the restaurant is only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday.

Watch: Sampling the menu at Locol