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Beverly Hills

Gold on Tinga’s “New Wave Tacos”

Jonathan Gold has reviewed Tinga, a place that many of you have recommended as an up-and-coming taco hotspot for upscale taco lovers. He starts out his review beautifully:

A taco, it could be argued, is the basic unit of consumption in Southern California, the parcel of corn and spice and animal whose masters line our boulevards, a food whose reach extends from the meanest barrio streets to the heart of Beverly Hills. When we move to New York or Paris, it is tacos that haunt our dreams; when we are hungry after a night of dancing, it is the taqueros who nourish us, who appear precisely where and when we need them the most.

I would say that it was Mexico's gift to our culture if it weren't so obvious that tacos existed on this land long before it was conquered by the United States. Tacos are as much a part of the landscape here as Ballona Creek or the Hollywood Hills or the saber-toothed tigers that moulder beneath tar.

As the poet laureate of the Taco Lifestyle, Gold known how to both turn a phrase and place things in their proper historical context:

And finally — almost 25 years after Border Grill first opened its doors on Melrose, Bruce Marder peddled his $22 steak tacos at Rebecca's, and John Sedlar first prepared radicchio tacos stuffed with crab — we are seeing a resurgence of what you might call artisanal tacos, which is to say expensive, clean-tasting, carefully crafted tacos served in design-intensive dining rooms, and made with first-rate ingredients.

The latest of these new-wave taquerias is the brand-new Tinga, a storefront a few doors north of the American Rag complex, a narrow, discreetly marked place that from the street looks as much like a furniture store as it does like a small restaurant.

So how does Tinga compare? You'll have to read the full review.

Photo by MidtownLunch

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