If you recall, Highland Park’s longstanding El Arco Iris shuttered back in April after being purchased by Coda Equities, a local real estate investment firm. Since then, the Coda team has partnered with Chef Lynne Tolentino to bring us Partido (“party”), a transient, “French-influenced, Filipino-inspired” eatery that dropped on July 26th. They serve dinner Thursdays through Saturdays (and brunch Saturdays), and given LA’s recent renewed interest in Filipino cuisine, I figured that I should check the place out before it’s gone.
About the Chef: Tolentino was born and raised in Long Beach, the daughter of an African-Filipino mother and Filipino-Italian father. Her mom (and sometimes dad) cooked Filipino food growing up, and she always had an attraction to the cuisine. In her younger years, she was a bit of a tomboy, and spent significant time skating and surfing, but also had an interest in fashion and interior design. After finishing high school in the LBC, Tolentino got a full ride to FIDM. However, her mom, unsurprisingly, wanted her to become a nurse. Thus, she attended nursing school and later worked in urgent care, during which time she also surfed (she even got sponsored for a bit) and dabbled more in Filipino cookery. After viewing an ex’s performance on Hell’s Kitchen, she was inspired to enroll in the Culinary Arts program at Long Beach City College. Tolentino worked on the Queen Mary and staged at Alain Giraud’s Anisette Brasserie throughout this period.
After graduating, she returned to Anisette and remained there until it closed in 2010. The following year, she landed a chef de partie position at Patina, which was under the command of Tony Esnault (she was also a stagiaire at Providence during this time). After Esnault left in 2012, Charles Olalia took over, and Tolentino would stay at the restaurant until the latter half of 2014. Following, she helped out Bernhard Mairinger for a bit, then became CdC at the second outpost of Superba Food + Bread in El Segundo, working alongside EC James Trees and Pastry Chef Carlos Enriquez. In 2016, the Chef started her own pop-up series called Air.Mail (the name was inspired by the voice recordings that her paternal grandparents in the Philippines used to mail over to her parents in the US), which continued into 2017. Tolentino then left Superba in June to focus her attention on Partido.