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Scene Setter: There's a new taqueria in town

Tinaga 

The taco is not what it used to be. Thanks in large part to the Kogi Korean taco revolution of a few years back, tacos have morphed from a Latin staple of meat, cilantro and onions into a sort of cultural chameleon. As soft, corn tortilla vessels for just about any combination of ethnic food that one can conjure, they have lost a solid identity and entered the laissez-faire realm of pizza and burgers: You can top them -- and stuff them -- with anything.

For those who enjoy the imaginative possibilities of this inevitable development but still hanker for a more traditional grounding for their favorite food, there is now a tiny taqueria on La Brea near 3rd Avenue called Tinga. Tinga specializes in tacos that are at once conventional and modern. Read on here in this week's Scene Setter.

Photo: Short rib tacos with chips and salsa at Tinga, a new gourmet taco stand on La Brea. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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