Tinga a ling ding ding
It seems the hottest taco shack these days in L.A. would be the new Tinga on La Brea. What? Where? La Brea. Not East L.A. Not a taco truck. Not an illicit taco table. Growing up on the Eastside, I couldn’t help but wonder if Tinga was really going to be all that good. Would it be toned down, Americanized, reworked into something Westsiders can appreciate and love? Well, I had to investigate. I went on Tuesday night with a friend armed with my Blackboard Eats discount.
My friend ordered the cochinita pibil tacos. I had the pork loin tacos and we shared the elote. We also got a couple of agua frescas. With the discount, it came out to be just under $20 (before tip). Some might view this is already pretty pricey for four tacos, a side and drinks but we are on the Westside after all (even if the dividing line is La Brea).
But first, I should note Tinga is not your typical taco shack. It’s not trying to be. The ingredients are more upscale and that elote isn’t your street fare of margarine and mayo. This elote features crema and they’ve already seasoned (well, squeezed the lime) for you. The cashier joked that the elote should be an automatic side. Yes, yes it should be.
I always find it difficult to make a decision on what to get at a new place. I wanted to try it all. But since there were only two of us and I was self-consciously feeling like I always over-order, I went with two tacos as well. I got the grilled pork loin that had been spiced with cumin and garlic. The tacos are much larger than street tacos. The two were more filling than I initially imagined. And combined with a handful of chips and their spicy salsa, I was very happy. I do want to try their mushroom quesadilla with the grasshopper sauce next time.
If Eastsiders can handle having Armenian-Mexican taco shacks in their hood, I think Westsiders should be thrilled with Tinga.
142 South La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036