Callahan's lived on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica for nearly 70 years, though its previous operator had run the place since the late 80s. Last year, LGO Hospitality (The Misfit, La Grande Orange) took over the space with intentions to return the neighborhood diner to its roots. With a black and white photo placed at the entrance, one can see that the earliest version of Callahan's was in fact a minimal white dining room, with a comfy countertop and practically nothing on the walls.
In its place comes Ingo's Tasty Diner, a name culled from LGO's Arizona sister restaurant Ingo's Tasty Food. Black and white artwork dots the far wall while a dark green hue accents the new interior. The ceiling's been raised to its former height, with a fantastic skylight adding in natural sunlight.
As for the menu, expect elevated diner fare with a seasonal twist, with produce straight from the farmer's market. Think dishes that you might see at a classic greasy spoon, but with a little more thoughtfulness, and definitely something more healthful. A massive chalkboard above the bar counter will list specials and all the local farms that will contribute ingredients. Finally, Ingo's will boast a full liquor license, a new feature that the old Callahan's never had.
The nearly 100-seat room should be an instant hit with locals, though when Ingo's Tasty Diner opens in a few weeks time, it will be dinner service only. Eventually, it'll offer breakfast through dinner.
Ingo's Tasty Diner
1213 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403