If I didn’t love ’70s sitcoms so much, I would have titled this piece “Chego’s Choi Champions Chinatown.” This past weekend, LA’s favorite son and founder of the modern food truck revolution, Roy Choi, moved his super cool temple of reconceived rice bowls known as Chego from the Westside to Chinatown. Desperately in need of some revitalization, frowzy Chinatown is great when you’re shopping for exotic herbs, bamboo backscratchers or paper parasols. However, the restaurants there leave much to be desired (yes, I’m one of those people who believe you must drive to the San Gabriel Valley if you want good traditional Chinese food), so Chego’s relocation is pretty much a game-changer for the neighborhood.
Chego is not fancy or expensive; you order at a counter. The new Chinatown digs are considerably smaller than the previous Palms location, which was small to begin with. The long communal tables of the old space are replaced with picnic tables outside the restaurant in the courtyard of Chinatown’s Far East Plaza, which enables you to soak up local flavor while dining. The creative Asian fusion comfort cuisine is basically the same as before; i.e. awesome. My favorite dish is the Chubby Pork Belly (pictured above), an incredibly delicious rice bowl with kochujang-lacquered Kurobuta, fried egg, pickled radishes, water spinach, Chinese broccoli, cotija and peanuts. I also love The Beefy T bowl with hot chili fried rice, diced prime rib, braised shoyu garlic paste, fried egg and fried shallots. For dessert, it’s a tough decision between the Sriracha Candy Bar (chocolate crisped rice bottom, caramel, Srirach ganache, spiced candied peanuts and dark chocolate) and the Piña Krackalada (sweet coconut rice with caramelized pineapple and dark chocolate). Get both; your secret indulgence is safe in Chinatown.
Chego is located at 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles.