Ocha Classic, a Thai restaurant loved by Central Americans, Mexicans, and Latinos, has grown to seven locations since it opened in Koreatown in 1985. Theories abound as to how its bond with its Latino clientele was forged, ranging from soups that tasted alike to how it always fed homeless and hungry locals with its leftovers. Dolly Porsawatdee, 30, who runs the restaurant with her family, says that during the Los Angeles riots in 1992, homeless people stood in front of the windows to protect it from looters, and Ocha Classic served as a kind of crisis cafeteria where looters, protesters, and the homeless dined along with the National Guard and police officers.

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