The Quick Pitch: This second outpost of the La Brea original offers nimble, irreverently modern takes on Cal-Mex staples: espresso-fueled “dirty” horchata, pastrami-gruyere quesadillas, apple-smoked bacon and chicharrones studded in the guacamole. It’s all served amid brightly painted, rambling indoor-outdoor environs a few blocks from the Santa Monica beach.
The Insider’s Dish: The restaurant is backed by top entertainment attorney Joel McKuin and film producer Michael LaFetra, who each came to know chef Jerry Baker years ago when he catered their weddings.
The Must-Order Item: The grilled sweet corn elote with lime, cream, chile and poblano puree -- served off the cob and in a bowl.
The Industry Neighbors: Innovative Artists, FilmDistrict, Chernin Entertainment and GK Films.
522 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, 310-451-9341, tingabuena.com