Another meeting in DTLA again offered a chance to enjoy some DTLA eats – an opportunity that’s been occurring quite frequently for me, fortunately. This time, I thought it would be fun to chow down in Chinatown. Chego was just a hop and a skip (no jump) from my meeting site – so why not skedaddle on over?
Chinatown is just a few blocks long and wide but busy with people, so I knew to take the first parking space I saw in the area, finding one right in front of the library, one I’d like to visit one day.
I headed towards a double-decker strip mall a short walk away, and I spotted the familiar Chego logo right away – the face smiling at me, telling me to come on in.
Walking the plaza’s corridor, I knew I’d found the place not because I saw it or smelled it, but from the sound of Chego. Asian cuisine, yes. But Chego prides itself as fusion – in its flavors, its selections, and just its swag. When a place bumps Tribe & Run DMC (and not the radio stuff), chills beverages in a Jarritos cooler, and offers a burger topped with Thai basil, kimchi Spam bowls, and tres leches cake, it can claim fusion. And it can surely claim LA.
Chego opened as a storefront after the success of chef Roy Choi’s Kogi BBQ trucks, slangin’ Korean BBQ meets street taco fare. I’d tried Kogi’s kimchi quesadilla and chicken tacos, some of the most divine little tacos I’ve ever tried.
My Kung Pau Noodle Bowl at Chego had a similar kicking and screaming flavor as the tacos – garlicky with chilies and lemongrass. No meat in this bowl, the protein coming from an egg elegantly slid on top. The first bite was hot and powerful. But with time, the heat tempers itself and settles down, allowing all the flavors to shine.
My bowl took a little longer to be ready than I anticipated, so I didn’t get to eat it while it was piping hot. Instead, I took it to me to my meting, and then had to wait a while, until we all broke up into more intimately acquainted groups, and I could whip out my noodles without shame – in front of my public health peeps (as opposed to the public safety staff in the other areas, who are okay with skipping a lunch in favor of work).
Next time I’m in the neighborhood – perhaps checking out a book – I’ll go for Chego’s Ooey Gooey Fries. Not only do they come beer battered, but topped with three kinds of cheese, pickled garlic, sour cream sambal, chillies, and cilantro. It seemed to be the dish everyone else there was eating – those sharing the fries as a snack at the communal picnic tables out front, or as a main meal, as I saw one guy enjoying from his barstool inside.
727 North Broadway in Los Angeles + 1 other location