Matt La Rue, the proprietor of the newly opened Taqueria Diana, had always dreamed of opening a taqueria in New York. The Stockton, California native spent a decade cooking in “more upscale” Bay Area Mexican restaurants, and came to love San Francisco-style burritos and quesadillas when he moved to the Mission District a few years ago.
After jumping across the country to New York earlier this year and working as a manager at The Meatball Shop‘s Lower East Side location, La Rue secured the nook right across from San Loco‘s Second Avenue location at the end of May. “Everything with the location aligned perfectly,” he says. The inside is still a work in progress, but with an exposed brick wall and an open kitchen (not to mention the colorful mural on the shop’s metal pulldown gate, done up by San Francisco tattoo artist Derick Montez), the decor of the place should be “sharp.”
The menu will consist of tacos, burritos, quesadillas and rotisserie chicken, “based on all the food I grew up on,” La Rue says. Expect rich and cheesy quesadillas suiza and monster burritos that are “off the hook,” according to the proprietor.
Taqueria Diana is open for dinner now, from 5 p.m. to midnight, and starting next week, they’ll be open from 11:30 a.m., as late as 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s the second taqueria to open in the East Village in recent months, after the opening of El Diablito in May.
Taqueria Diana, 129 Second Ave., nr. St. Marks Pl., East Village