chinatown, downtown los angeles

Roy Choi’s Chego Now Open in Chinatown’s Far East Plaza in Downtown LA

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

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

In February we found out the exciting news that Chego — a trendy, casual Asian fusion eatery from Palms (near Culver City) brought to us by rising star chef Roy Choi — was relocating to Chinatown. Chego took over what used to be an underperforming Thai restaurant in the Far East Plaza, which straddles Broadway and Hill near Ord Street and located conveniently near Chinatown’s first market-rate apartment rentals — the new Jia Apartments slated to open in late summer 2013.

Chego has been open for about a month now (opened in early May) and has already developed a strong, steady following. I had a chance to stop by last week for dinner during a weeknight and was pleasantly surprised to see so many people finding their way to Chego in an otherwise very quiet shopping center where most businesses shut down pretty early. As I sat outside the restaurant eating my Chubby Pork Belly bowl (a big thumbs up by the way!), I was thrilled to see a steady stream of what seemed like curious epicureans making their way up from the underground parking structure (there’s free parking with validation) as they found their way to Chego.

It’s fantastic to see a jolt of new creative young energy in Chinatown, which has such great bones and tons of history and character but lacks that sense of “now,” unlike Little Tokyo, which has become one of the most active neighborhoods in Downtown LA. Seeing Chego succeed proves that with the right concept, new businesses can thrive in Chinatown. I hope to see more businesses as fresh and creative as Chego setup shop in one of Downtown LA’s most interesting districts.

For in-depth coverage on Chego’s menu, visit The Minty.

Chego has added new life to the Far East Plaza in Chinatown

Chego has added much needed new life to the Far East Plaza in Chinatown

Chego menu

Chego menu

Chubby Pork Belly

Chubby Pork Belly

Sour Cream Hen House

Sour Cream Hen House

Chego has free validated underground parking (entrance off Broadway) and is closed on Mondays

Chego has free validated underground parking and is closed on Mondays

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10 Comments

  1. Josh says

    Roy Choi is such a cool and down to Earth guy. The food is great, the location is great, the hours are great, the prices are great. Hoping this will spark new life and development in an area that’s lacking in the evening. Perfect timing with the Blossom development around the corner.

  2. sebastian says

    Why closed on Mondays, that’s a bad move.

    • Lawrence says

      @Sebastian – many restaurants close one day per week and typically Monday is the slowest day for a lot of businesses, especially restaurants. In Old Pasadena for instance, there are several restaurants that close their doors on Monday’s and sometimes even Tuesdays, particularly those off the main drag of Colorado Blvd.

  3. Now they just need to bolster their phone order service. I built a night around the fact that Chego delivers, but when I called to place an order (we tried 4 times) the phone just kept ringing and ringing. We never got to order that night.

    I dropped by the store the next day to figure out what had happened, and they replied quite casually that when the place gets busy, they tend to ignore the phones. Would have been nice to know….

    Even still, great food, great place.

  4. Andrew W. says

    I really hope young, creative businesses will dare to make the leap into chinatown and help inject some much needed life — it is one of the most historically rich in DTLA. I’m very curious to see what kind of businesses will lease space at the Jia apartments! Please keep us all updated, Brigham.

  5. Andrew W. says

    Oh one last thing, Brigham…

    If you ever get a chance to talk to or interview George Yu or any number of Chinatown’s movers and shakers, please ask them something that has been gnawing at me for sometime…would they ever consider making Chinatown’s Golden Dragon Chinese New Year’s Parade a true destination event and a night time affair? This is just an idea I want to throw out there.

    As successful as it is, I think it has so much more potential (having attended Sydney’s Chinese New Year’s celebration last year visiting Austrailia, I was blown away by the lively energy, beauty, and creativity of their parade after dark). Instead of an event that gets little mention on the local news in Los Angeles, why not create a destination event for all Southern Californians in LA’s Chinatown? Maybe KTLA or KNBC can broadcast it? With all the creative talent available in Los Angeles, I envision a Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade with a “Chinese” twist — Imagine parade floats bursting with neon lights, color,energy, music,dancers, and fanciful Chinese dragons/lions blowing smoke. It might cost a little more to pull off, but with the right vision and willing sponsors, I’m sure it can be done!

    Anyway, sorry for getting off topic. But I think Roy Choi bringing his restaurant here was not a coincidence — he clearly believes in its potential and its future. Like many urbanists we want to see Chinatown rise out of its funk and succeed after so many years of neglect.

  6. Susie says

    Have been to Chego a few times already. Their food is consistently good. Bring on the new investments into Chinatown!

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