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.