EXCLUSIVE: Inside LA’s Tintorera, Our New Favorite Al Fresco Restaurant

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It was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2017.

Get excited jetsetters. We have our hearts set on our new favorite al fresco restaurant in L.A.! It’s got gorgeous decor, exquisite seafood and all the good vibes you need. Tintorera is the upbeat Mexico-City style dining experience that you don’t want to miss!

Tintorera opened in September of 2017 in the bustling heart of Silver Lake on Sunset Blvd. It was one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of the year as the Angeleno project of Maycoll Calderon, the star chef from Mexico City. Chef Maycoll Calderon is the genius behind Huset, Mexico City’s beloved restaurant known for original country-style dishes. After the success of his venues, Huset and Hanky Panky, Chef Maycoll chose to bring his progressive Mexican cuisine to Los Angeles. Tintorera is meant to be ”reflective of Calderon’s signature cooking style—unique Mexican preparations of fish, meats, vegetables, and perfectly handmade tortillas.” Despite initial mixed reviews, there’s no denying that Tintorera is a visually and gastronomically creative dining venue in Los Angeles.

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The space is what attracts guests to Tintorera just as much (and sometimes more often) as the food itself. The facade is low and inconspicuous, gently beckoning to guests in a bright happy aquamarine. But once you enter Tintorera and pass through the palm fronds, it’s like entering a secluded, exotic hideaway. The main part of the restaurant is set outside in the open air under twinkling lights and woven basket lanterns. The whole space is surrounded by lush green tropical plants against a tall brick backdrop with a mural of a blue shark. The dope colorful mural refers to the restaurant’s namesake, Tintorera, which is a Mexican horror flick from the 70’s about a blue shark terrorizing vacationers. Upbeat Latin jazz and dance music swirls above the rustic wooden dining tables and chairs. There’s a small, intimate bar indoors which is also decked out in palm fronds and palm tree wallpaper, for those who just want to grab a pretty cocktail and a bite to eat. Tintorera is a unique and happy oasis overall, hidden away from the bustle of L.A. and Sunset Boulevard.

Fresh, typically raw, seafood with an eclectic repertoire of fruity and spicy notes is the name of the game at Tintorera. The menu’s main draw is the long list of colorful appetizers, all of which are delectable and one-of-a-kind. Start with the Hamachi Tostada, which is the perfect, tangy introduction with citrus vinaigrette, chiles and radishes. The Tuna Tartar with a creamy jalapeno emulsion is a flavorful crowd-pleaser, spiced with chili oil and mixed in with avocado and radishes for texture. There are four variations of ceviche on the menu, each of them featuring unexpected flavors such as mint, jicama, fennel and even hummus. Take your pick because you know all of them are going to be fresh and tingly with citrus. And try either the Hamachi or Rainbow Trout Tiradito. They’re both delightful bites of crudo sitting on top of tomato or blood orange, laced with spicy or earthy garnishes. To sum it up, all the appetizers are vibrant creations of seafood sporting an array of fruity, spicy and/or crunchy flavors. The apps are what will give your meal the color to fit into your surroundings. Don’t leave without trying at least three.

After all those apps, the main dinner entrees may just be an afterthought. But save room to share at least one Al Fuego dish with your group. You get a choice of fire roasted seabass, red snapper, rainbow trout, baja tuna, prime NY orchicken with chorizo, all of which are served with unexpected and hearty sides. The Roasted Red Snapper with corn, tomato and chile serrano is incredibly filling, bursting with simultaneously earthy and tangy flavors. You won’t find a NY Prime Steak like the one at Tintorera, which comes with poblano, potatoes and avocado—a Mexican twist to a repetitive classic.

And of course a place this hip wouldn’t be complete without brunch and lots of wines, sangrias and cocktails. The brunch menu is full of creative Mexcian-inspired items as well, which is why you can only get it on Sundays. With entrees like Octopus Tostada and Buttermilk Pancakes with Agave Honey, you already know where to go for brunch this weekend.

For a truly fun, innovative Mexican dining experience, don’t miss Tintorera when you come to L.A. Whether you come for the trendy décor, creative dishes, delicious drinks or the al fresco patio, you’ll definitely leave happy from the most colorful dining experience you’ll have in a long time!

Photos: Nadia Cho, Tintorera

Nadia Cho

Communications Associate

Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features and online via JST's social media platforms. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.

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