Having brought flavorful fresh Mex to its La Brea block, Tinga introduced us to "dirty horchata" this weekend. The concoction finds a shot of espresso added to the restaurant's homemade rice milk recipe, thus turning it "dirty" and quite delicious, albeit a little pricey at five dollars. It wouldn't be surprising to see Starbucks jocking this drink, much like Baja Fresh tried to swipe the "Kogi taco" last summer. But who's behind the conception of this so-called "ultimate gentrification" in a cup?
While an employee managing the Tinga register was proud to take credit for the invention of the beverage, it appears praise is not really due to him. Highland Park's Cafe de Leche has served the beverage during its short reign on York, with customers often taking a trip there solely to discover or re-kindle a romance with the sweet, eye-opening beverage. Whoever might be responsible, the relatively simple idea was a new one to us, though it has serious potential to become a hit at SoCal coffee stores and beyond. As for where the royalties are due...Tinga and Cafe Con Leche can fight that out amongst themselves.
Cafe con Leche, 5000 York Blvd. Highland Park. 323-551-6828.
Tinga, 142 S. La Brea Ave. Hollywood.