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LA Weekly Guest Critic Blasts Tintorera in One-Star Review

The first review since B-Rod’s departure takes down Maycoll Calderón’s new restaurant

Wonho Frank Lee

Nearly one month after Besha Rodell bestowed her last review on Los Angeles (a shiny four-star award to Vespertine), a new guest critic, Karen Palmer, tries her hand at giving a starred rating to Tintorera. The Silver Lake restaurant by Maycoll Calderón of Mexico City's acclaimed Huset is “dead cool,” but the food consistently misses the mark, with Palmer stating, “it's surprising that [Calderón is] behind the line every night.”

The kitchen suffers from a very heavy hand when it comes to seasoning:

Overseasoning sabotages many seemingly well-conceived dishes, smothering more delicate flavors: Sharp citrus erases hope that you'll taste that coconut water in the mixed ceviche (with equally intense poblano chili), while vinegar-blasted bits of mango in the pyramid-stacked watermelon salad obliterate both the melon and nubs of goat cheese. A pile of crisp radishes and snap peas atop a piece of roasted red snapper was absolutely coated in salt, almost to the point of being inedible. [LAW]

Palmer admits that being from New York may affect her point of view:

Look, this is my first review for L.A. Weekly. I'm new in town. I may have prejudices coming from the hard-nosed world of New York City dining, but I do know this: If you're a restaurant that hangs its hat on seafood, it should be treated with respect. And yet more than a couple of bites of ceviche tasted less than sparkling fresh, and a $34, six-ounce filet of sea bass with an oversized swoosh of mashed sweet potatoes and cherry tomatoes was bland and too rare at the center [LAW]

The former editorial director of Tasting Table concludes that she wishes “the entire place had more of Salazar's swagger, that the execution would be on point, the servers a little less asleep at the wheel.” Tintorera receives one star out of five.