When I moved to LA in 2010 the very first thing I asked people was: “Where should I eat?” Their very first response was normally: “Kogi BBQ!” But whenever my schedule opened up, Kogi BBQ was in the depth of the OC and I’m not about to waste 60 miles of gas for tofu tacos. Fortunately, Chef Roy Choi had also opened Chego in Culver City. Still, the long dinner queue usually shooed me away to less hyped restaurants.
When I finally tried Chego, it offered exactly what I expected: A mediocre vegetarian option.
The Ooey Gooey Fries topped with sour cream sambal, melting monterey jack and cheddar cheese, cotija, chillies, cilantro, pickled garlic ($6) are the only thing I would order again. But only because I live close… if you are anywhere near Spitz you are much better off with their fries. The sour cream sambal is dominate element, all other flavors tend to drown within it. At Spitz, the fries are like a bar fight of flavor in your mouth.
The oily mess of Grilled Romaine Hearts ($6) with bitter grilled radicchio, lightly pickled red onions and doused in Caesar dressing and croutons was unappetizing. Too heavy, too greasy, too much.
The Buttered Kimchi Chow bowl is a one note dish that I’ve eaten a hundred times before: Bibimbap. The rice with butter and red chili smothered cubes of tofu with a fried egg, edamame, gaenip, garlic soy jus and furikake is sold at the right price: $7. I wish chefs would take five minutes and read this NY Times article about preparing tofu. Sour cubes covered in sauce shouldn’t come out of a professional’s kitchen. I think every chef needs a vegetarian of good taste in their life. In light of Chef Choi’s recent vegetarian rant and his vegetarian friendly specials on his Kogi BBQ truck, I hope he returns from his truck and finally develops an inspired vegetarian option for Chego (like he did at A-Frame).
3300 Overland Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034