chinatown, downtown los angeles

Roy Choi, of Kogi Taco Truck, to Open Chego in Chinatown in Downtown LA

Roy Choi's Chego is planning to open inside the Far East Plaza in Chinatown

Roy Choi’s Chego is planning to open inside the Far East Plaza in Chinatown

A reader sends in an exciting tip that Roy Choi’s popular Korean-inspired eatery in Palms, called Chego, will be opening inside the Far East Plaza — one of Chinatown’s many shopping arcades. Apparently, Chego will be taking over an existing smallish restaurant called Wu Ha Thai Food located toward the interior-middle section of the shopping complex.

Named “2010 Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine, Roy Choi launched Kogi Taco Truck back in 2008, which became one of the most recognized and successful food truck concepts in Los Angeles. After much success with Kogi, Choi opened Chego (meaning “the best” in Korean) in 2010, becoming his first brick and mortar location where “everything tastes better in a bowl of rice.”

The Far East Plaza is located near Broadway and Ord Street, just a stone’s throw away from Chinatown’s first market-rate apartment project called Jia Apartments, which is currently under construction and expected to finish later this year. Chego’s close proximity to Jia Apartments — with 280 units and 17,000 SF of new commercial retail space — will create some good synergy, which I hope will attract more much-needed new investments into Chinatown.

Apparently, the people over at Chego have not confirmed or denied that they are planning to open in Chinatown. However, “confirmation” came over the past weekend when a new banner was put up on the Far East Plaza’s exterior facade (facing Hill Street) featuring the eatery’s logo: a smiling man with a big thumbs up.

A banner with the Chego logo, a smiling man with a big thumbs up, was put up over the weekend on the Far East Plaza's Broadway facing facade

A banner with the Chego logo — a smiling man with a big thumbs up — was put up over the weekend on the Far East Plaza’s Hill Street facing facade

Chego is purportedly taking over the Wu Ha Thai Food restaurant inside the Far East Plaza

Chego is purportedly taking over the Wu Ha Thai Food restaurant inside the Far East Plaza

Far East Plaza is one of many indoor shopping arcades that dot the large Chinatown area

Far East Plaza is one of many indoor shopping arcades that dot the large Chinatown area

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9 Comments

  1. They need to renovate that shopping center. It’s got 70s-80s tackiness all over it.

  2. i’m glad to see the revitalization of downtown spreading into Chinatown (an outgrowth of the Arts District, maybe?), but i hope it still retains a lot of its character. i wish Chego the best of luck.. this is not going to be an easy spot to attract diners because its surroundings attract a far different type of crowd. additionally, culver city/palms is another (re)developing area.. it’s a sad loss for them. i hope both continue to grow.

  3. Fletcher says

    Must answer: will this be a second location in addition to palms or will that one be closed permanently?

  4. Aurora says

    People will go there. I go to Via Cafe on Gin Ling Way all the time and shop at Realm a couple doors down. Glad to see something new popping up in another part of Chinatown. Hopefully these new businesses will invigorate the area without losing the kitschy charm.

  5. Susie says

    Had lunch at the Chego truck today and asked when their Chinatown location would be opening.

    It will be this month! :)

  6. That shopping center needs traffic and Chego will be a good addition to help out the small store owners.

  7. Andrew W. says

    My first time going to Chego last night after attending the DTLA Artwalk, and it was like a FLAVORGASM of yummy in my mouths (I really didn’t think my date and I would enjoy Asian-fusion comfort food this much).

    And judging by the long lines we saw out the door (even with the rainstorm), I’d say it’s more than just a “good” addition to this non-descript, dated shopping plaza. Personally, I’d like to see it get a little renovation. Whether or not that’ll ever happen? It’s still a huge coup for Chinatown and a big WIN for the Eastside!

    The fact that Academy Awards Winning actress, Nicole Kidman and her hubby (country music star, Keith Urban), were spotted there last weekend before going to the Rolling Stones concert? It has already given this place a huge kick in the “cool” factor department:

    http://www.justjared.com/photo-gallery/2863554/nicole-kidman-keith-urban-birthday-party-with-the-girls-05/

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