Locol (San Jose, CA) – Of course I know about Roy Choi and the Kogi truck. I’ve read his memoir and I’ve been to A-Frame. So, I feel like I have some barometer of how delicious his food can be. When Locol was going to open in the Bay Area, I was really excited that we would be getting some of his awesome food up here in the Bay, and with a great mission behind it – to serve quality food at fast food prices in underserved communities. There’s been one in Oakland for awhile now, but when one opened in San Jose, I finally made my way over there a couple of weeks ago.
This Whole Foods in San Jose is massive and the Locol order counter is located outside where there’s plenty of seating space. The menu is pretty simple: cheeseburgers (veggie or beef), foldies (quesadillas), fries, and drinks. The most expensive combo is $11 but you can easily get a whole meal for $10 or less. I took my sister with me, so we ordered one combo (fries and a strawberry-lime agua fresca) and another cheeseburger – both beef.
The staff was friendly and they handed us one of those buzzer that go off when your food is ready. We sat around for about 5-10 minutes until our buzzer went off – everything is made to order. I tried my drink first, and it was really good. Loved the fresh and fruitiness of the agua fresca. Our fries were also well cooked and seasoned – crispy but not burnt and not over-salted. Good stuff on both counts.
The burgers though. Man, I’m disappointed – and I really hate to say that because I enjoyed EVERYTHING I ate at A-Frame. I’m honestly not sure if they gave us a beef burger or a veggie burger. First, the burger needs some sauce because this patty has no flavor. Shake Shack’s burgers don’t have complex flavors, but the way they season their meat brings out the deliciousness of their beef. This burger tasted like nothing and didn’t even have a sauce to back it up. The texture was weird too. It felt like that weird chewy texture of a veggie patty versus biting into beef. I honestly didn’t finish my burger because of how underwhelming it was.
I really hope that somehow, by mistake, we were simply given veggie burgers – though that doesn’t bode well for them either because I enjoy a good veggie burger even if I do eat meat. I wish I had ordered a foldie to determine if everything was good here except for the burger.
I likely won’t come back – which sucks because I was so excited about Locol. The burger was not a good first impression and it’s the star of the menu, so I wouldn’t make my way out here in the future. I do hope this was just an outlying experience rather than the norm.