Earlier this month, Roy Choi reopened his rice bowl restaurant, Chego, in Chinatown. Street wear brand The Hundreds sees the move as a pivotal one for the neighborhood on the road to wider recognition and teams up with the chef today for a tour. “You’re the first motherfucker to come in here,” Choi recalls, no doubt paraphrasing the reception he received from his new neighbors, who showered him with flowers and Buddhas. The chef’s first stop is Hop-Woo, where he introduces the crew to Lupe Liang, AKA the “iron chef” of Chinatown, AKA “the master of balls.” From there, they head to Phoenix Bakery for the almond cookies Choi grew up on, then, in a contradiction only a vegetarian advocate who shills for SPAM could reconcile, refers to a food court using his most hated term, “ethnic.” In any case, it’s a positive look into the community and its hard-working spirit, revealing a few legendary restaurateurs who don’t normally get a close-up. Check it out.
Choi in Chinatown Photo: The Hundreds