#LAFoodCulture with Travel Foodie Blogger Tinger of Dash of Ting
At its core, the beautiful city of Los Angeles is a mixed bag of the best people, culture, and food this world has to offer. On one street corner, you could have banh mi that would transport you to the heart of Vietnam, and two blocks away you might find yourself immersed in a cup of gelato that will make you forget you aren’t out on the town in Venice, Italy.
It might take you 45 minutes to travel two blocks, but what can you do? This is why we love #LAFoodCulture.
Food Tribe is all about connecting great food with great people, and one great person we got to hang out with recently is Tinger of Dash of Ting! Tinger is a certified health coach who has turned her love of food into a career centered around traveling and sharing travel-inspired healthy recipes. She has all the energy, culture and good taste you’d want in a foodie, and has even gotten to work with everyone’s new favorite foodie, Ayesha Curry!
As you’ll see on her website and Instagram account with over 75,000 followers. Tinger has eaten some of the best food from all over the world, and is exactly the person you want to talk to when trying to uncover some of LA’s hidden food gems.
Behind every foodie’s love of all things culinary is a beautiful story that established that passion. Originally born in Taiwan, Tinger’s first memory as a toddler was the smell of freshly steamed pork dumplings sold at the famous night market of Kee Lung, Taiwan. Shortly after, Tinger’s family moved to the east coast. However, she never forgot about her Taiwanese roots.
Since moving to LA in the mid 90’s, Tinger has tackled every nook and cranny in the city, uncovering every leaf and exposing every delicious ramen bowl and black bean burger she could find along the way. LA’s dedication to health and strong culture is what keeps Tinger in town, and for that, we thank the city for it. Because without foodies like Tinger, there’d be fewer people to tell us where to go for authentic Oaxacan cuisine!
According to Tinger, she recommends that you have to go deep into the belly of an area where you’d least expect to find Oaxacan food. Yes, it’s in Koreatown. We were as shocked as you are! At Guelaguetza Restaurante, you can drown yourself in an array of fantastic homemade mole sauces. . The homemade horchata is also second to none, and has the same flavor as the traditional rice milk with a splash of prickly pear juice.
If the chocolate mole has you feeling extra saucy, you will also have to try the Guelaguetza house specialty Chapulines a la Mexicana.
Chapulines are grasshoppers, and they are a Oaxacan delicacy that according to Tinger, will blow your mind. Get them prepared “A La Mexicana,” or fried with tomato, onion and jalapeno and served with quesillo Oaxacan string cheese.Their stir-fried: flavored with a simple garlic and lime pairing. It might sound crazy, but where else are you going to try grasshopper? When in Koreatown, do as the Oaxacans do.
Even though Guelaguetza has Oaxacan food down to a science, Tinger swears she makes a healthy quesadilla that puts all of #LAFoodCulture to shame...and we tend to believe her. Check out the recipe on her website and try it out for yourself!
Tinger’s love of healthy food largely influenced her work in the health and wellness industry, where clients would always ask for delicious recipes that didn’t involve just chewing on a head of lettuce. It’s a common misconception that healthy food has to be tasteless and difficult to make, so Tinger launched Dash of Ting and the rest is history.
We talked about how developing a following can be the biggest obstacle for building a brand or a website. Building a strong Instagram account and joining and contributing to Facebook forums put Tinger’s content in front of the right audience. After all, how can you not love videos like this one at the world’s first permanent ice bar in Stockholm? It’s all about creating unique and interesting content and loving what you do, which Tinger so clearly does.
Her travels to Singapore, Thailand and Bali have opened her eyes up to cuisines she never imagined existed. Americans going abroad for food typically think of hitting up Italy for pasta and wine or Japan for authentic sushi. Barbecuing fresh local fish off one of the beaches in bali or enjoying a spicy papaya shrimp salad at a family run restaurant in Thailand is how a real foodie eats.
Not to be overlooked, Tinger had another hot spot in Los Angeles for us to try as well. By Chloe in Silver Lake is the move if you fancy some vegan eats. There, you’ll find seasonal goodies and fresh dishes like mac n’ cheese with shitake bacon and a black bean burger on a potato bun that rivals any other in the country. Everything here is made daily and from scratch, so you don’t have to feel guilty about that extra shitake bacon we know you’re going to order.
As we love to ask all the foodies we speak with, we had to ask Tinger for her theoretical last meal on Earth. The answer was exactly what you’d expect from an Ayesha Curry collab who has eaten everything in the eastern hemisphere.
What’s on her table? Only roasted lamb with prune tagine straight from Morocco. On the side, she’ll have a couple Mexican tamales and Chinese bbq pork buns. If it’s your last meal on Earth, you might as well get a taste of everything.
We had an incredible time speaking with Tinger and can’t wait to give her LA hot spots a try, and also to verify her bold quesadilla claim. For more of this well-traveled foodie, check out Food Tribe’s video collab with her as well.