Ingo’s Tasty Diner is a little hidden (actually hidden) gem in the heart of Santa Monica on Wilshire Blvd. Its no wonder, with all the hubub of Wilshire that its hard to miss, and you’d think the neon sign would help, but admittedly I walked right by it and then did a little back step once my brain caught up with my eyes.
No flair, no glitter, Ingo’s Tasty Diner is an old school Diner with New School philosophy of food. Opened a few short years, Ingo’s took over a diner that had been around for decades. The infrastructure was there but the rest was falling apart. So to keep its old school flair, the decor was revamped to look like its original skin. But past the curtains is a farm to table menu with house made juices, sauces, and local produce/meat. Out with the greasy diner food, and in with a sustainable healthy menu, with all the satisfaction of diner food that sends you home full and spoiled.
Seems like Ive been going out for brunch a lot, and as I always say I dont judge a menu based on brunch. But these days Im throwing that rule out the window. Brunch menus are becoming more unique. We started out with the coffee flavoured cocktail called The Sunday’s Best, and a Bloody Mary. The former was so light, and tasted like coffee candy. The latter was made with inhouse juice and inhouse pickled veggies. Amazing!
It was suggested that we share a few plates to get the most of the menu so we shared the Shakshuka with house made merguez, and hash browns to share with sour cream and chives. It seems brunch is served with extra runny eggs these days but Im getting used to it. I mixed it up with the merguez – ever so flavorful with herbs and spices – and the skillet fried onions and chunky tomatoes which actually helped to cook the egg a bit more. With the dollop of sour cream, boy this was the perfect dish. Im a sucker for skillets but Im an even bigger sucker for chunky tomato sauces that really utilize fresh tomatoes without running through a blender. The hash browns were good. Super crispy if you like that sort of thing ;), and just the right amount of food.
So side story…. as we were eating, a huge mountain of fresh baked cookies was being carried past us to the front door. My sister and I must have been drooling at them, our eyes peeled to the tray as it glided past us… so the GM grabbed the tray and brought it to us. Its the little things that add to the experience, and that is what I call good customer service. FYI if you are planning on sitting at the bar, make sure you ask if Neil Soni will be working.
Ingo’s is part of LGO: http://www.lgohospitality.com/