Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tinga

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Los Angeles, CA. Though bars, gastropubs, and otherwise American eateries serve up this Latin-American dish, when do we reach a point where someone truly does it best? Or rather, is it even possible to mess up? Blue cheese crumbles slowly melting over blue corn chips, nacho rounds smothered in melted cheddar, a stack of freshly fried sprinkled with jack cheese, guacamole, olives, and ground beef...endless possibilities of savory sights that I've seen across my restaurant journeys.  Simple in its making and readily shared, its role has become clear, and I'm not mad at it. Serving up  several boastful renditions is Tinga, not a bar, but a mid-city Mexican eatery.

Tinga has a menu stocked with taco, burrito, quesadilla, and torta variations and though I have enjoyed exploring it on several occasions, I'd like to focus on their nachos: Chicken, Cochinita Pibil, Black Bean, or just Cheese. The former three are loaded up with a heavy helping of house-made guacamole. All have their staple thick-cut tortilla chips, and they do mean thick-cut. Served hot and golden, the chips give that even crunch with just the right amount of flake. The Chicken Tinga comes with crema, the Black Bean comes with Oaxaca and goat cheeses (and a great melt), and the Cochinita Pibil  (pictured above) comes with a whole lot more! 

The Cochinita Pibil Nachos are admittedly their more popular nacho flavor. Tinga's slow-roasted pork is orange and achiote marinated and infuses with the cheese and chips from the top down. It's then covered with a tasty habanero salsa, smooth guacamole, queso fresco crumbles, and pickled onions (in roughly that order). The combination successfully integrates sweet, savory, zesty, tart, and creamy with each mouthful. These nachos are definitely a job well-done. Next time, I'll gather up a few more bites to share, but for now, if you find yourself craving nachos and don't know where to go...now you do.


Tinga
142 S La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 954-9566
www.tingabuena.com

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