DTLA: Lunch at Tiara Cafe


As dineLA hit its second week, I made it over to Tiara for lunch. It’s been a few years since I last went. It was around the time it first opened and I was dazzled by the pretty turquoise decor and fashionable lunchers pecking away at flatbreads and salads. I recall thinking the iced tea at $3.50 being way too expensive and out of my then unrealistic lunch budget of $10. With dineLA lunch at $16 and a mimosa at $4, it seems almost normal to spend $25 for lunch (I said almost). Good thing dineLA gives me an excuse to eat out more often.

complimentary appetizer

We were given a complimentary appetizer first with our meal. I did like the garbanzo bean “fries.”


There’s something about my dining partner that always causes us to order extra food when we’re doing a tasting menu. He wanted to try Tiara’s pizzette which was admittedly good. After a couple of slices, we had it wrapped up because our courses were starting.

great balls of fire

yellow tail fresh'wich

My dining partner chose the Great Balls of Fire which are mac and cheese balls with BBQ sauce. I previously tried these at the last LA Street Food Fest and they’re pretty good. I opted for the lighter sounding yellow tail fresh’wich. It turned out to be a roll served with Tiara’s Thai Cobb dressing. These were fun to eat as well.

fish enchiladas

smoked short ribs

My dining companion had the fish enchiladas and I tried the smoked short ribs wrapped in bacon. His came with a really great rice and beans side and mine with fluffy grits.

Berry Cobbler

Lemon Sabayon

For dessert, we shared the berry cobbler and lemon sabayon. The lemon was covered with a caramel sauce. I generally don’t like pies but I make an exception for cobblers and crisps. There’s something so adorable and rustic about ’em.

And when the check came and my friend realized his iced tea was $3.50 and my mimosa was $4, this illustrated the case where it’s always worth it to get booze.

Tiara Cafe

127 E 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015 – (213) 623-3663