LuncHaim Favorites

Video

Dear LuncHaimers,

I am recapping a solid first half of LuncHaim eats for 2013 and would like to pay a little visual homage to my favorite spots to lunch it up!

FYI, the Chego Truck is no more. Visit their new location in Chinatown:
727 North Broadway, #117, 90012

As for Guisados. They are still up to their old tricks and are in the works of launching a 3rd location in DTLA.

Much love to Guisados and Chego for all the good eats and pretty pictures!

Seoul Sausage Company – Little Osaka

Image

So It’s called Seoul Sausage Company and I start off with a piece of chicken? That’s because it’s not any old chicken. You all know Koreans love to take food that is already awesome and make it even more awesome. Da KFC (so succulently pictured above) stacks atop Korean B.B.Q.’s take on fried chicken. Korean fried chicken is known for being extra crisp, lighter on the batter and having that certain kick only Koreans know how to concoct. Seoul Sausage’s rendition calls for chunks of white meat with a softer fry, sprinkled with magic dust. I don’t know what this dust is. All I know is every time I undo that takeout box, dusty nuggets and a L7 of cornbread shimmer like gold! The cubes of pickled daikon, chives and sweet chili glaze coating the nuggets with a fork full of that cornbread is a bite of foodie love to be had. Only mistake I made is I wasn’t sitting down. It’ll knock you off your ass.

ImageUp next…Sausage? No. Try Seoul Sausage completely ripping Arancini a new one. The Lil’ Osaka, Flaming and Spam Musubi balls consists of seasoned Kimchi fried rice core and a flaky outer fritter. Topped with some provocative sauces for $3 a pop. The Lil’ Osaka (pictured right) is a homage to Seoul Sausage’s home on Mississippi and Sawtelle, AKA “Tiny Tokyo”. The recently launched Spam Musubi ball is salt cured beefy goodness. Seoul Sausage’s menu may be small, but their Korean remixes on foodie culture make you want to devour everything. Make some room.

Image

I would love to see the expression on a Montrealer’s face after eating the Galbi Poutine! The French Canadian specialty usually consists of not so amazing fries, gravy and cheese curds. Seoul Sausage’s remix: Galbi (Korean braised short rib), twice fried fresh sliced potatoes, chives, that damn good kimchi onion and a homemade crema. The braised short rib is made with time, love and perfection. I can’t really imagine finding a more unique way to eat a french fry in Los Angeles (no one tops the Dutch & Belgians!).

ImageWhen I asked for a takeout menu, they said take a picture!

seoul sausage edited-12My Lunchaimers, don’t get perturbed. There is no sausage in this glowing review. Blame it on this gang of Koreans for diving into their foodie lab and coming out with some incredible items to accompany their sausage and balls! The Galbi Poutine and DaKFC are two dish renditions I have not seen or tasted heretofore. Seoul Sausage has me hooked and I will be back to try their Korean B.B.Q. sausages incredibly soon. Much love to Yong, Ted and Kim for making sausages, not war!

Chego – Palms/West LA

ImageChego means “the best” in Korean slang. I assume its more like an onomatopoeia for a noise you make when you taste something downright delicious. Executive Chef Roy Choi creates and isn’t afraid to recreate dishes with his LA-OG-Korean-Mexican-Hawaiian goodness. Chego takes Bibimbap (Korean rice bowls) and goes all Bi-Bim-Bap on them bitches. Scoops of rice provide a canvas for Choi’s flavor palette as he paints the city of LA with food. The Chubby Pork Belly (pictured above) is the menu’s anchor. Its straight up Korean but Chego adds a Mexi-spin with some cojita cheese and sweetness along with radish, peanuts, spinach, basil, fried shallots. And don’t forget the piggy. The marinade creates a camralized char around the diced chunks of pork belly.

ImageI could go on writing about Chego’s rice bowls for days. I suggest losing all inhibitions you may have about food and dive in. Now to Exhibit A (pictured left). When Chego unveiled a burger on the specials menu, they tinkered with different toppings/sauces on a weekly basis and locked in on this meat wad. Half pound grass fed burger, cheese, mayo, chili sauce, fried shallots, wild arugula, Thai basil. The bun is grilled with a slight char. The burger has dimension…They call it a patty. Its more like a beef puck. Sweet, spicy, creamy, peppery herbs, caramelization and texture. Its a perfect picture and a ride down to flavor country.

ImageSo here’s the thing. Chego did have a dine-in restaurant, but there were some kitchen limitations and renovations needed. As we know it today, Chego indefinitely lives out of this truck parked out in front of Chego’s bones (pictured above). True OG! They still have seats and benches in front of the restaurant outside to enjoy a slightly down-sized menu. The staple items are still on the board, including interesting snacks like the Beehive Brussels Sprouts (pictured bottom right). Caramelized and deglazed w/ soy vinaigrette over yogurt curd and honeycomb, crowned w/ salsa ensalada, fried shallots and sesame. The sweetness of the dish combined with the salsa roja and sharp taste of the sprouts is a must try. If your were a Brussels Sprouts hater like me going in, you will be reintroduced to the veggie that once reminded you of steamed gym sock stench.

ImageYou can always tell when you spot a first-time Chego-er. Their eyes bulge a little, trying to get every element of Choi’s creation in focus. Then upon first chemical reaction of taste from tongue to brain, there is this inexplicable look on the face, as if they can’t believe this late in life they are now experiencing a new dimension of flavor. Chego will reinvigorate your soul and won’t even charge you more than $10 for a wild culinary ride through Korea Town, Little Tokyo, Mexi-Cali and the Pacific Islands.

ImageMuch love to the entire Chego crew!

Vitals:

  • where to find us

    3300 Overland Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90034
    323.380.8680

    CHEGO TRUCK LUNCH
    Tues-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm
    Take-Out, Order Online

    CHEGO TRUCK DINNER
    Tues-Sat 5:30pm-11:30pm
    Take-Out, Order Online

  • our team

    GM: Jose Cervantes
    Sous Chef: Micko Ortiz
    Pastry Chef: Beth Kellerhals
    Executive Chef: Roy Choi