Friday, July 30, 2010

Tinga: Now Open

Tinga restaurant opens today on La Brea Blvd, just south of 1st Street. The Mexican taco specialist is the first restaurant project for husband and wife caterers Jerry (pictured below) and Chris Baker. Last night I was invited to their friends and family opening celebration to see their new space and try the food.

The menu is built around five types of tacos, including cochina pibil, papas bravas, puerco especial, steak picado and short rib deshabrada. I tried the steak tacos, which were very clean tasting and had nice bright flavors. Others around me raved about the pork tacos and the potato (papas bravas) tacos.

The other signature dish is the tinga, which is shredded chicken served on a toastada with tomato chipotle, lettuce, crema and pickled onion. The tortillas, salsas, guacamole and beverages are all made in-house.

The team was especially proud of the horchata (pictured below), justifiably so, in my opinion. Very refreshing. Tamarindo, jamaica and watermelon lemonade are all also available.

My favorite of the dishes I tried was the grilled corn, which had spices and lime juice on it to give it a real kick. The corn was served off of the cob in clusters of kernels in a salad format and was packed with flavor.

The pistachio desserts were tasty treats and have a strong lemon flavor as well. Lemon is a favorite of mine in desserts, so I was happy to eat a second one when given the opportunity.

Tinga does not have a sign up at this time. Look for the open french doors and the large communal wooden table dominating the interior. The walnut stool seats and table tops were manufactured for the Tinga team by a maker of cutting boards, which is a cool design touch, although I don't suspect they'd like you to start cutting straight on the table...

Tinga does not have an alcohol license. The taco plates are between $5.50 and $8.50 and the fresh drinks are $3.75. Tinga's slogan is "The people, they like it!" and I'd have to agree with that sentiment.

Note: I was invited to this event and did not pay for my food or beverage.

Tinga: 142 S. La Brea Avenue (1st St/2nd St).


  1. and I thought you weren't going to eat! :p

  2. I wanted to go to this, but we were on the other side of town in SM & too tired to make the trek out... Looks yummy!

  3. I want to check it out in the afternoon to see what other baked goodies they have. Supposedly their coffee will be good, but I must confess to not being a coffee drinker, but serving coffee and pastries in the afternoon is a smart use of the space during what could be a quiet time.

    Gourmetpigs - yup, I hadn't planned on eating anything but it was there in front of me and looked so good, so I decided to activate my second stomach.