Tinga, La Brea's funky Mexican cafe, is ousting longtime Santa Monica resident Renee's Courtyard on Wilshire and 5th. It's happening, people. Here's the deal. Right now Renee's is closed and Tinga owner Jerry Baker plans to reopen the bar and restaurant next week, probably Tuesday. Baker will operate Renee's in its present unkempt form until mid-March when he will transition the space into a second branch of the Jonthan Gold-approved Tinga. Renee's owner Renee Forest is taking back her weird doll collection and Baker will morph the space into something more like this. However, he does plan to pay homage to Renee's and keep a few relics, like some knick-knacks and a table or two.
In addition to Tinga's Mexican eats, Baker will introduce a new menu he describes as "gastropub-esque," basically dishes he has prepared in the past via his catering company The Food Matters. He's thinking along the lines of bar bites that could include sliders, short ribs, "anything tasty." What's also great about Renee's is that it comes with a full liquor license. Those who have dined at Tinga on La Brea will remember that the restaurant doesn't even serve beer or wine, although it's coming in the near future. But, here in Santa Monica, Renee's is equipped with three bars that will focus on tequila and mezcal. Baker wants to serve affordable, simple, and delicious drinks that take "three minutes to make not 25." Ice will come via Kold-Draft.
With Tinga Santa Monica coming to fruition mid-next month, Baker hopes to roll out brunch and lunch this coming summer.
·What if Tinga Hit SM and Moved into Renee's Courtyard? [~ELA~]