Syhabout’s praise brings to mind a comment Choi made about the inspiration behind his rice bowl restaurant Chego: It was about never again having to hide his Asian self. As a kid, when friends came over and opened his family’s fridge door, he recalled, “There’s fish guts, you know, pickled daikon, braised mackerel and gingko nuts. You can’t show that life a lot. A lot of times you get the stink eye, like. ‘What the f you got in your refrigerator dude?’ Even to the toughest dude, that’s a very sensitive moment, and so you hide a lot of that stuff. Well, Chego was a poem to that. It was like, ‘Let me show you what’s really in my refrigerator.'”


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