Okay so if you know me, you know I worship at the altar of Chef Roy Choi. The man is a culinary genius. Sure winning the lottery would be great but let’s face it, there’s pretty much nothing more enjoyable in life than anything you can eat from the Kogi truck.
That being said, I have a confession to make. The Kogi truck is the only food of Chef Choi’s that I’ve tasted. Yes I am just as ashamed of myself as you are. But all that was remedied when I recently visited the master’s first brick and mortar, Chego (eatchego.com).
Located in the Far East Plaza in Chinatown, Chego is Choi’s take on the rice bowl. And what a delicious take it is. With so many rice bowls—not to mention the 3PM Meatballs, Ooey Gooey Fries and the Chego! Burger—and so little time, we decided for our first visit we would try bowls. I mean that’s why the man started the place, right? So we tried the Chubby Pork Belly and the Sour Cream Hen House.
The Chubby Pork Belly is a kochujang-lacquered Kurobuta rice bowl with fried egg, pickled radishes, water spinach, Chinese broccoli, cotija and peanuts. The pork is amazing. It has great flavor and practically melts in your mouth. The kochujang provides enough heat to complement the bowl without overwhelming it and this is coming from someone who normally can’t do spicy. Choi enjoys putting a fried egg in a lot of his dishes. As a result, I’ve discovered I really enjoy fried egg in a lot of dishes. I’ve even discovered that pickled radishes are pretty damn tasty. This is a bowl I would definitely get again. And again.
|The Chubby Pork Belly. It was chubby-licious!|
Just as delicious is the Sour Cream Hen House. It’s a marinated grilled chicken rice bowl with fried egg (there’s that fried egg again), Chinese broccoli, sour cream sambal, Thai basil, toasted sesame and red jalapeno. The sour cream sambal and Thai basil stood out in this amalgam of flavors and, just like the Chubby Pork Belly, the bowl had the right amount of spice.
|Sour Cream Hen House. This hen can come|
to my house anytime.
Now my dilemma is what to try next. Tiny’s Prime Rib Rice Plate? The Beefy T? The Steak in the Heart prime rib sandwich? And once I decide, do I save room for dessert?
As with Kogi (and I’m sure with his other restaurants I still need to try), Chego further proves that Roy Choi is a mad genius at blending flavors. He’s like a master DJ who mixes and spins flavors into a delectable beat that transforms your palate into the best rave ever.
The place itself is small with a few seats along a counter but that adds to its strip mall charm. The day we went the sound system was kicking out the retro jams of Eric B and Rakim. There’s also seating outside but then you’d miss out on the incredible aroma of everything’s that cooking.
So get your ass down to Chinatown and have a bowl.