SHEX Reviews: Dos Locos

SHEX Reviews: Dos Locos

By Sonia Su

Under the management of Chinese-American Charles Zeng, who also owns Piro Restaurant and Bar and Captain Rooster, Dos Locos opened in January 2014 with the slogan ‘Crazy Good Burritos.’ From burgers at Piro to burritos at Dos Locos, Zeng says he likes running restaurants which serve simple food that he can cook, as well. Zeng didn't deny the influence of American chain Chipotle in helping him conceive the idea behind Dos Locos.

The ceiling is covered with the message ‘Be Amazing,’ in glittering bright red lights. Quotes from Apple’s Steve Jobs and rapper Jay Z, among others, line one wall, while posters displaying slogans such as ‘Made By People, Not Machines’ line another. The music, mostly American pop, might be played a little loud for some tastes.

Complete with red menus, wooden tables and ‘honest ingredients,’ Dos Locos also offers many of its Western counterparts’ counter service menu items, from white tortillas and burrito bowls to grilled chicken (55 RMB), beef barbacoa (65 RMB), and pork carnitas (55 RMB). Items you don’t see on Chipotle’s menu, however, include Dos Locos’ panini wraps, fresh pineapple salsa toppings, desserts and, yes, alcoholic beverages (25-45 RMB). And trust me, just the names—‘pot’ brownie and caffeinated chocolate chip cookies—of its two desserts (20 RMB each) are enough to entice anyone. (But if you’re wondering, the generously portioned brownies are flavored with nothing but decadent chocolate.)

You can begin ordering by choosing any of the six bases: burrito, burrito bowl, tacos (three white tortillas), panini wrap or nachos.

Next, choose one of the ‘mains.’ According to the menu, the organic, hormone-free grilled chicken breast is brined then marinated overnight in its smoky chipotle adobo. Another meat option is the pork carnitas, simmered with a variety of spices for a moist, tender and flavorful bite. For an extra 10 RMB, try the imported Australian beef, which is braised for hours in its spicy chipotle adobo with cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano. Not a fan of meat? Opt for a vegetarian burrito(65 RMB) with fresh, hand-mashed guacamole. And if you’re feeling particularly ravenous, add more chicken or pork carnitas for an extra 15 RMB or beef for 25 RMB.

Finally, finish off your unique creation with any or all of the toppings (sour cream costs 10 RMB, guacamole is 15 RMB).