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Mid-City's Tinga Turns Off the Lights After Nearly Seven Years on La Brea

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The casual Mexican concept seeks a new space

Tinga on La Brea
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

In Los Angeles, Mexican food giveth, and Mexican food taketh away. The latest casualty of the always-churning taco scene is Tinga, which shutters after nearly seven years along La Brea.

When Tinga first opened, it earned high praise from plenty of folks for its inventive menu that eschewed a lot of tradition in favor of flavor. That meant 48-hour braised short rib and flatiron steak served on handmade corn tortillas, but with a price point hovering in the $4-per-taco realm. Others found themselves enamored with the nachos, and that sweet corn elote was always delicious.

But in the end, it was that most usual of issues (a lease agreement with their landlord) that seems to have brought Tinga down. A note left on their empty website reads:

Tinga had its last day at the La Brea location on November 14th. Our lease was up and we couldn’t come to a place that worked for both Tinga and the land owner.

The message from ownership goes on to thank those loyal customers from the neighborhood, with a hopeful line about looking for a possible new location elsewhere in the future. For now though there is no Tinga, following the earlier closure of a separate Westside location. Owner Jerry Baker once talked about even expanding into the Valley or onto a food truck, but for now folks wanting a more expensive taco on La Brea will have to satisfy themselves with Trejo’s Tacos down the way.