There’s a reason that American diners have been nicknamed “greasy spoons” for nearly a century. Burgers and shakes, fried eggs and bacon … you know the drill.
But sometimes nothing beats sliding into a vinyl booth and loading up on comfort. That’s why we’re ecstatic that Ingo’s Tasty Diner—a Santa Monica newcomer—has traded “grease-to-spoon” for “farm-to-table.”
Ingo’s occupies the space where Callahan’s, a neighborhood diner, had endured since 1946. The counter seats and retro booths remain, but the menu completely re-imagines diner classics with healthy, high-quality ingredients.
Take the spaghetti and meatballs ($16), for example. The typical meat-and-carb fest has been upgraded with pasta made in-house with Chino Valley Ranchers organic eggs and Strauss grass-fed beef. Ingo’s version of the chopped salad ($14) has rotisserie Jidori chicken, Nueske bacon, tomato and avocado on a bed of marinated kale instead of the usual limp, pale lettuce.
There are burgers (grass-fed) of course, but Ingo’s also goes well beyond diner fare with dishes like succulent pasture-raised rotisserie lamb with harissa yogurt ($19) and grilled Campbell River salmon with a raw market vegetable salad ($25). Vegetarian and vegan choices abound as well—don’t miss the crispy brussels sprouts ($10).
The restaurant’s close relationships with sustainable farmers are evident from the sprawling list of partner farms scrawled on the wall above the counter seats. If you can’t resist the pie, at least you know it’s made with farmer’s market fruit and organic whipped cream!
Ingo’s Tasty Diner
1213 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica