5/06/2013 03:03:00 PM

Best Thing We Ate This Weekend: The Chego Burger

Roy Choi moving Chego to Chinatown is pretty big news, especially for those of us who live closer to the Far East Plaza than the Palms strip mall where the restaurant resided for the past three years. He opened the new spot this weekend, and judging by the lines that snaked around for the Saturday and Sunday debut, we weren't the only ones excited for the big bowls of flavor. That's the only way to describe what Chego is, really, from the rice bowls topped with kimchi and SPAM to the crisp cheesy fries smothered with sour cream sambal and chilies.

One thing we haven't tried before was the burger, and it was just so good, especially after event-hopping along the Gold Line on Saturday (the Chinatown stop is only two blocks away). The half-pound grass-fed beef patty was char-grilled to medium-rare perfection and topped with a sweet chili sauce, cheese, mayo, fried shallots and Thai basil. We stopped Choi, who was walking around checking on guests, to tell him how good it is. "I know... it is so good," he remarked. Papi was proud of his kitchen, but that burger simply rocks.

For the opening, DJs were blasting groovy hip-hop into the courtyard, and people were sharing free pours of local brews from growlers. The restaurant consists of a small window and a few seats, but there are picnic tables in the open-air courtyard for dining. It was so crowded on Saturday, people even picnicked on the ground near one of the closed businesses. But during regular hours (Tuesday-Sunday, 11 AM-11 PM) we can see the place being pretty full, especially later, when most of the businesses around the neighborhood close and parking is a breeze. Put this on your pre-Dodgers game map, but you can also order for pick-up, and Chego delivers to Downtown LA, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and the Echo Park area that borders the stadium and Silver Lake.

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