clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Roy Choi to Close Chinatown Rice Bowl Favorite Chego Next Month

New, 10 comments

The plan is to move back west

Outside Chego, Chinatown.
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Roy Choi is closing cult favorite restaurant Chego in Chinatown, ending a six-year run inside Far East Plaza.

Long before the lines descended on Howlin’ Ray’s for Nashville-style hot chicken and Lasa started doing modern Filipino food, there was Chego at Far East Plaza. Choi was among the first new tenants to take to Chinatown’s cavernous shopping centers, and he watched as more than a few restaurants — Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok among them came — and went. The same could be said of the pan-Asian rice bowl genre as well, with Choi long leading that charge in the face of increasing competition from around the city.

Still, competition became tougher over the years as Chinatown overall continued to expand its offerings into bao buns, coffee, and sandwiches from Wax Paper. So now, six years along, Choi is moving Chego somewhere back to the Westside, though he’s not sure exactly where yet. Check out the heartfelt Instagram post below:

View this post on Instagram

From Chef Roy: "A little @eatchego news: We are moving, again! Call us the Raiders of the food world. Westside then Eastside now back to the Westside. When we moved to Chinatown six years ago, I saw a vision of empty plazas at night filled with people and a harmony of Chinatown families mixing with next gen merchants where no one got displaced and all boats would rise. Not sure if it all-the-way happened as poetically as I saw in my third, but I think it came close, hopefully with not too much distress to the OG residents. I know it's been a mixed bag as with any growth, but it's been a good thing to see the town become a place for new grassroots start ups. But Chego is a gypsy. We kind of thrive in shadows and the scratch-your-head why are they there kind of place. When we arrived at Far East Plaza, it was us and the OG stores with everyone closed at night except us. It felt right for us. Now that the plaza and the town have grown, I think it's time for us to move on. I am so happy for all the businesses that came in, especially our neighbors in the plaza, and the residual effect in revenue it had on the original shops before them. I'm mixed on all the luxury condos etc but excited to see how balance is achieved as the town continues to grow with so many new entrepreneurs coming in monthly. Shout out to all of you and I'm proud that Chego opened the door. But it's time for us to go back to Palms. Like an old school Kung Fu flick where we go back into the forest. We will be open till the end of April, so get your fix in. Beginning May 1st we will offer a limited Chego menu at Kogi Taqueria till we find our new location back west. Thank you, Chinatown for six great years! Peace and love, The Raiders of Rice Bowls"

A post shared by L.A In A Rice Bowl (@eatchego) on

Chego will run in Chinatown until the end of April, at which point some of the better-selling items will transition over to Kogi Taqueria in Palms until Choi finds a new permanent Chego home. Some of the bowls are also still available at the Alibi Room.

Chego. 727 N. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA.