Chego is the creation of the Roy Choi. Roy Choi is the mastermind behind Kogi. Kogi is the food truck who revolutionized the food scene by using Twitter to let his customers know where they would be at for the night. In other words, Roy Choi is the father of the gourmet food truck movement.
With Chego, Roy Choi keeps to the same demographics as Kogi. Chego is his brick and mortar shop where he serves Asian-Mexican fusion rice bowls. He keeps to the affordable and comforting cuisine. It has become one of my guilty pleasure. Here’s a fun fact. K-Town‘s Roy Choi was an intern at New York’s 3 Michelin starred restaurant, Le Bernardin. He does have industry cred, per se, even though he decided to take the non-traditional route with his food.
Chego is located in the Chinatown in a fading mall that has become prime real estate for hipsters. There are two branches, but the Chinatown one is the one I frequent. The restaurant is a casual atmosphere where you order your food then decide whether you want to eat inside the restaurant or the tacky flower covered benches in front of the restaurant. It’s a no frills and all grill type of place and I stop by at least twice a month for lunch.
Now, the food. I tried a good number of items on the menu:
- Chubby Pork Bowl – This is easily the best and probably the most popular rice bowl Roy Choi serves up at Chego. It comes with two scoops of white rice topped with Kurobuta pork belly glazed with Kochujang, a fried egg, pickled radishes, water spinach, Chinese broccoli, and chopped peanuts. The robust flavors of this bowl has me coming back to taste the juicy and plump morsels of Kurobuta pork belly as its balanced out with the sourness of the vegetables.
- Prime Rib Rice Plate – The prime rib rice plate is topped with a fried egg, water spinach, Chinese broccoli, creamed horse radish, roasted garlic paste and shallots. The slab of prime rib is tossed on two scoops of white rice. The vegetables are pretty standard across the board but the seared slab of beef always seem to be overcook every time I get it. However, it’s still tender but it’s missing the flavors a medium-rare piece of steak brings to the table.
- Kung Pau Chicken Fried Rice – This dish seems to have too much going on with it. The little chicken morsels is drown out by the watery rice; it didn’t taste like it was fried rice but more of a porridge. The fresh mint leaves are overpowered by the greasy rice and barely has its nose above water. However, grease in this case. It was a poorly executed rice bowl.
- Ooey Gooey Fries – The beer-battered fries topped with Indonesian sambal, sour cream, melted cheddar cheese, chilies, chopped cilantro and pickled garlic. It’s a comfortable side to get for any french fries loving fanatic. It reminds me Carne Asada fries from one of the many late night Southern California Alberto’s or any ending with “-lerto’s”. The only difference is the fries are beer battered and cooked to a golden color; the sour toppings provide perfect balance with the greasy fries. Forgive me. The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Overall, I’m a big fan of Roy Choi and ate at his Kogi trucks once a week when he was revolutionizing the Los Angeles Food Scene. Don’t me wrong. Chego misses with some of its rice bowls but the Chubby Pork Belly and Ooey Gooey Fries has me coming back.
- Service - 7/107/10
- Presentation - 7/107/10
- Flavors - 7.5/107.5/10
- Decor - 6/106/10
- Ambiance - 5/105/10
With Chego, Roy Choi keeps to the same demographics as Kogi. Chego is his brick and mortar shop where he serves Asian-Mexican fusion rices bowls. Chego misses with some of its rice bowl but the Chubby Pork Belly and Ooey Gooey Fries has me coming back.