chego!

Ele não consegue entender, e eu não consigo explicar.
Chego a me desesperar, 
Pois é muito intenso para eu conseguir falar.
—  Coisas sobre nós.

Ooey Gooey Fries + The Beefy T

August 30, 2014

Location: Chego! (Chinatown)

Holy French fries, Batman! Not only was the meal damn good but the food coma that followed was SIGNIFICANT. I cannot remember the last time I had such an overwhelmingly satisfying, belly-expanding sup. I visited this restaurant’s now-former West LA home once before and was so impressed that when I heard of their new Chinatown digs, I had to check them out again. Good food, good friends, good times.

Ooey Gooey Fries: Three magic words (technically four if you do not count hyphenation): beer-battered cheese fries. Fries bathed in a beer batter, fried to crunchy perfection and covered in three kinds of cheese (shredded Monterey Jack + cheddar cheeses and tangy cotija fragments). Good lord have mercy. I did mostly avoid the cilantro, chilies + pickled garlic for fear my stomach would implode. Much like the chili on the Loaded Potato Skillet from last week, the rich sambal (an Indonesian chili sauce), based in sour cream, could have been easily left off without issue but it augmented the fries’ gluttonous status beyond fat ass status.

The Beefy T: This rice bowl on steroids was a perfect complement to the heavy fries. The hot chili rice with diced veggies was surprisingly light and along with the thin fried shallots and 쌈장- (ssamjang, thick Korean spicy paste) like shoyu (soy sauce) paste could easily be my daily entrée for weeks without me blinking, but the diced prime rib, tender + juicy even in chunk form, elevated this dish to an elegant, brilliant level.

Chego!, 727 N Broadway, Unit 117, Los Angeles (Chinatown), CA 90012

Find Roy Choi’s LA in a bowl at Chego, a tiny casual eatery that specializes in warm rice bowls with a crazy mashup of bold Asian fusion flavors. Pick from snacks, big kid meals (rice bowls, Kung Pau noodle bowl with knife cut noodles, prime rib sandwich, daily specials) and sweets. The food is influenced by Korea, China, Singapore, Mexico, Thailand and more – just like LA.

Order up front and they’ll call out your number once your food is ready. Note, if you ordered multiple items, your number will be called multiple times. Pick up your food and get your own utensils. Yes, there’s sriracha. While there is limited counter seating inside, there are additional picnic tables outside. The portions are about average but the food is rich and heavily sauced.

* 3PM Meatballs ($4): Fried meatballs w/shaved green onions, sesame and fried polenta patty. The “fried” part led to hard meatballs and I wasn’t keen on the super thick sweet mole like sauce either…wanted more acidity, freshness and juicy balls

* Chubby pork belly bowl ($9): Kochujang lacquered Kurobuta pork belly cubes over soft, steamed rice, topped with a fried egg, pickled radishes, water spinach, Chinese broccoli, and a generous sprinkling of salty Cojita cheese and crunchy peanuts…it sounds over the top but it actually works very well thanks to some delicious cubes of fatty grilled pork belly, super yummy sauce, that oozing egg yolk, crunch and bitterness of veggies counteracting the fatty meat, and tons of flavor. It’s like Pad Thai’s cousin from another country.

Validated parking (1 hour) is available, along with curbside pickup and online ordering. During siesta hours (3 - 6PM), you get free Ooey Gooey fries with the purchase of bowl and daily specials.

4 out of 5 stars

By Lolia S.

se você me diz agora ‘preciso de você aqui’, eu pedalo morro acima, eu peço um táxi e pago os vinte rais em moedas, eu saio correndo com meu pulmão de bronquite gritando, mas eu chego o mais rápido possível só pra oferecer um ombro e qualquer coisa.
se você me liga domingo ao meio dia e me chama prum almoço, ‘mas perto daqui só tem o mcdonals’ e eu tenho o maior nojo do mcdonalds. comida com gosto de papelão capitalista. eu vou. peço um hamburguer de frango. encaro a maionese. te vejo comer aquela torta horrorosa de maça e gordura. te escuto.
se você me diz que vai passar o feriado na cidade, jogando tempo fora, andando de skate na orla. eu sento na areia e fico te olhando de longe. só pra você não se sentir só.
se você me beija um pouco, depois de algumas doses beija outra garota completamente aleatória eu digo que tudo bem. você não parece bem. é isso que me preocupa. sua inconstância, seus nervos, seu caminho perdido, indo e voltando com a ex. deixa eu te ajudar de algum jeito, por favor.
se você quer ir aquele show cover daquele ex professor nosso. um lixo a banda. mas pra tomar uns drinks contigo, eu vou. escuto. até canto. você me deixa em casa depois com um abraço fajuto de boa noite. mas eu fico nas nuvens, feliz. dividir qualquer coisa meia boca contigo pra mim é o must, é ganhar o mundo.
é bonito, não é? a minha presença, a minha disponibilidade, a minha amizade sem pedir nada em troca. é lindo. diz que não? diz. diz que eu sou uma grande boba. eu sou. amizade é bonita assim quando é recíproco. se alguém se doa sem retorno é só abuso.
a próxima vez que você ligar do nada me pedindo alguma coisa ou me pedindo pra ir aí, eu juro que desligo.
mas você não liga, não procura, não pede.
quem precisa desse samba louco que a gente dança não é você. nunca foi. quem precisa dessa montanha russa sou eu. preciso. e não é recíproco. e eu cansei de ficar triste com isso.

“Às vezes sinto tanto a sua falta que chego a ouvir sua voz, A sentir seu perfume pelos corredores da minha casa, Já namorei com a sua sombra, já conversei com a sua foto, Meu travesseiro tem o seu nome, Eu vou pra cama com você toda noite...”

Chubby Pork Belly

September 27, 2014

Location: Chego! (Chinatown)

Aristotle was not always right about the whole greater than the sum of its parts. While the veggie choices (pickled radishes, diced water spinach, Chinese broccoli) were a bit too piquant, the crumbly cotija cheese + crunchy peanuts were nice touches. The ultimate was the tender 黒豚 (Kurobuta, Berkshire pig) pork belly that was “lacquered” (one of the best food descriptors I have seen in a while) in 고추장- (gochujang, Korean hot pepper paste). I am on a rice bowl roll.

E+D:February 2011

In this month’s rendition of E+D, I’m changing up the abbreviation from “E(ating)+D(rinking)” –> “E(ating)+D(oing).” With a city like Los Angeles (once you get over all the traffic), there’s so much to do and explore at given time. With the rich diversity of activities available, it’s just as easy to find as wide a range of eats to sample as well.

TO DO: Sunset Ranch Hike | Griffith Park 

While the rest of the world was tailgating, firing up the grill, and preparing your seven layer dips during Superbowl weekend, I rose with the sun and hiked the mountain tops of Sunset Ranch. I visited a few weeks prior to take in the views of the city via horseback, but nothing quite takes your breath away like hiking up the trails on foot. Some buffs are crazy enough to take bicycles to the path, while others will challenge the terrain via cross country running (my knees ache as they blaze by me), but whether you’re on two wheels or speeding through on foot - the views are indeed amazing

If you’ve lived in LA for a long time, but have yet to explore past your 10 mile radius or you’re looking for a cheap date - I HIGHLY recommend this “TO DO” via early morning (stop by LA MILL COFFEE in Silverlake for a charming, and very hipster, breakfast) or late afternoon/sunset. 

TO EAT: Escalivada Catalan style roasted red pepper, onion, eggplant @ The Baazar | SLS Hotel

Vegetables get a bad rep. Starting at a very young age children turn their noses to fresh green produce and develop emotionally connected opinions about them that often leave lasting impressions that sustain into adulthood. Over the course of my lengthy lifetime I’ve learned to live by the food mantra that “I’ll try anything at least twice” before finalizing any opinions about a food. However, eggplant was one of those vegetables that I really couldn’t wrap my head or taste buds around. It was watery, kind of sluggish looking, spongey - all sorts of bleeeck. 

Leave it to The Baazar to take everything you know about food, break all the rules, and make you fall in love with eating all over again. I had the privilege in sampling the tasting menu compliments of Rodale as park of “thank you” work function. Unlike many other tasting menus I’ve sampled in my epicurean life I left perfectly content, completely satisfied, and strangely enough - energized. No food coma, no feeling to fill up on salads the next few days. It consisted largely of vegetables, PACKED with flavor, and lean proteins. The Escalivada was extremely flavorful (but not heavy) and extremely comforting - like a stew that your grandmother has been slow cooking for hours. If I should ever return, the Escalivada will definitely cross my plate and fork. 

TO EAT for DESSERT: Mr. Pat Bingsoo @ Chego! (Also pictured: Tres Leches Cake)

My sweet tooth is becoming a bit fussy. Gone are the days when I’d pass by a candy bowl and feel compelled to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Au revoir aux les jours to the days where I’d go ga-ga over a patisserie. I like to think that it’s becoming more refined, or maybe I’d rather save my calories for more indulgent things (red wine?). 

Whatever the case, I’ve become more selective in my dessert sampling. My recent obsession being the “Mr. Pat Bingsoo.” It’s shaved ice with homemade strawberry syrup, fresh fruits, mochi, condensed milk, and toasted grain powder. This kicks Guppy’s out of the ballpark and is so much better for you! It comes in two sizes: small($3) or large ($5). It’s refreshing and a perfect way to end a meal (regardless of where you eat!). Chego! is known for their saucy and punchy rice bowls, but don’t neglect “The End” menu. It has expanded since the pit stop has opened last year, and Choi has yet to disappoint me here. 

5

For those who aren’t too familiar with WHO Roy Choi is, well let me say that he has to be the GENIUS to cause the domino effect of all the food truck craze happening in LOS ANGELES. He is the TOP chef behind the Kogi BBQ trucks … See feature of Kogi BBQ on CNN and TIME MAGAZINE. Back then they only had 2 trucks; today, they expanded and roam the streets with 5. R.Choi is also responsible for my recent love & discovery for a place called CHEGO! …and I am SO fortunate to live in CULVER CITY & have access to such crazy, goodness YUM!

For those who are too lazy to stand in line and search for these trucks, the Kogi BBQ  can also be found at the 21+ bar in Culver City called The Alibi Room

If there ever was a battle between Chego & Kogi, I think it’s Chego would be the winner! Granted that they both make delicious food, Chego has MORE of a selection. Kogi is meals on wheels; Chego is sit down - but BOTH are usually crowded.

If ever you are visiting Los Angeles - these places are a MUST TRY.

A preview of what I got @ Chego:

1. Ooey Gooey Fries: fries, sour cream sambal, melting monterey jack and cheddar cheese, cotija, chillies, cilantro, pickled garlic

2. Steak to the Heart: prime rib sandwich on grilled ciabatta, wok-seared onions, roasted garlic Irish butter, cheese, green sauce

3. Rock Yer Road: chocolate ice cream, smoked almonds, caramel, brownies, melting marshmallow fluff, Luxardo cherry

INFO (if you’re in West LA or Culver City) …

Chego! 3300 Overland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

The Alibi Room 12236 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA

3.2011_UPDATE: I recently went back. This time, I ordered the Sour Cream Hen House. SO F'IN GOOD!!!

Carver parou no estacionamento, mais vazio do que quando tinha chego, e se virou para Effy com uma expressão confusa. — Você se lembra do carro? Eu estava muito ocupado prestando atenção em você. — Encarou a garota, Nolan se aproximava para não precisar falar tão alto, ao que sua voz já estava rouca dos gritos do dia. — E não foi uma cantada… Ou foi?

nos meus pensamentos: chego até o alto da colina e pulo da montanha mais alta sem me machucar e entre  aos setes céus tenho  o privilegio de tocar o céu mais puro que um dia existiu por que na minha cabeça,sou quem eu deveria ser,  uma  sonhadora por completo.

LEITORES SE VC É UM SONHADOR  NÃO DEIXE TEUS SONHOS SE PERDEREM NA CAIXA DO INFINITO DOS TEUS PENSAMENTOS.