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Roy Choi may be the Led Zeppelin of street food: the father of a truck-based restaurant industry; the chef who draws huge numbers of people to deserted parking lots; the architect of a new, popular cuisine. He was the only Los Angeles chef to be named one of Food + Wine's best new chefs this year, and at food-industry events, CEOs of multinational corporations hang on him like custom Loro Piana worsted. So what is Choi's second act? Rice bowls! And not the skanky, stringy underseasoned rice bowls you may remember from hundreds of now-dead Yoshinoya restaurants, but multifaceted, soulful things, utterly un-Korean in concept but Korean to their core, things like ultrafunky kimchi bowls tossed with buttered rice; chile-rubbed prime rib rice bowls with horseradish, and a rice bowl highlighted by a slab of pork belly that has been burnished as lovingly with Korean chile paste as a '64 Impala show car has been rubbed with lacquer. At Chego, you can start with charred asparagus, fluffy Korean meatballs or a "$12 salad'' if you like, but the only dessert is a deconstructed Rocky Road sundae with caramel, brownies and marshmallow fluff. The restaurant proper is a tiny place in an obscure Westside mini-mall, personalized with small collections of books and toys - it looks like the kind of hidden Tokyo jazz bar that can take three sets of cabbies to find.
For all of you who've been obsessively driving by the little strip mall on Overland that has for the last few years been the location of Roy Choi's Chego, hoping to see the Chego truck or evidence tha... More »
Roy Choi has blogged the news that Chego has shut down for repairs. Never fear though, the chef has exactly the solution you'd expect from the man who invented the Kogi BBQ Truck: a Chego truck. Which... More »
Word came down from the Kogi blog today that Roy Choi was dropping his revamped menu at Chego, his popular rice bowl haven in Palms. Some of the more popular original items like the pork belly bowl,... More »
Chego is a very trendy Asian Fusion place, a bit small, with two long tables and seating against the wall. Came on a Friday night and the lines were pretty long. But! The food comes fast.
If you've had Kogi before, the expectations for taste on this menu is not disappointing at all. The rice bowls.. the ooey gooey fries..the meatballs. Everything is packed full flavor and heavy on taste.
If you choose to order the rice bowl, they get a bowl, fill it with rice and the sauce and all is drenched over the rice, with eggs, veggies, something crunchy something spicy...so many things going on at once. I got the Buttered Kimchi Chow with pork belly. Now, I LOVE the Kogi truck, and I constantly crave for the sauce but these portions are so huge that I was no where near finishing. Very filling, indeed. All the flavors in the bowl are really intense, because there's about 20 different things going on at once, but appetizing nonetheless. You'll need a drink to go with whatever you order here though, to tame those taste buds down.
Very interesting dessert selection (sriracha bar??) .
Parking is easy, look for side streets.
Not bad at all. I'm a big fan of the Kogi truck so I was excited to try Chego. Really hip and contemporary take on Korean food and everything is packed with a fusion of flavors here. Though it was a long wait when I went, I really enjoyed the Ooey Goey Fries and those MEATBALLS. They were really good. Not a lot of seating, but don't be shy, find a spot with all the communal seating!
Once again, Chef Roy has managed to radically redefine trendy Korean food.
I'm not a fan of Korean food -- no matter how many Korean restaurants I go to, the only things I can stomach are Korean BBQ and Kyochon. While I didn't love the food at Chego, I also didn't hate it, and considering the strong Korean flavours in it, I'd say that's a big accomplishment.
Chego is hidden in a tiny, unassuming lot near the freeway. I would never have thought to stop by, but once my friend and I found parking spots and walked into the restaurant, we were surprised to see that it was bursting with skinny white hipsters -- not really the crowd I expected.
We split the ooey gooey fries, which I actually wasn't that impressed by. I ordered the beefy T fried rice, and my friend got the pork belly. I think I prefered his pork belly a little more, but I still enjoyed my bowl. The spices and flavours were so overwhelming. I felt like there must've been at least 20 ingredients in every bite I had, though I wish there had been more meat. The portion was so huge that I could only finish a quarter of it and took the rest home to finish later. Luckily, it tasted even better reheated the next day.
The first time you order to go at Chego and the cashier directs you to a rectangular holding cell near the kitchen, it's sort of befuddling. You survey the piles of napkins, sheets of tinfoil and biodegradable cardboard lids and think, "WTF?" The policy of having a customer bundle up her own takeout seems to flunk a Gilbrethian time-motion efficiency study. Does leaving you to box your Ooey Gooey Fries or 3 PM Meatballs really make Chego run that much faster? The answer is probably no, but... More »
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