“I felt like this area had a missing hole that needed to be filled,” says California native Matthew La Rue. “I don’t think that it has much great Mexican food currently.”
He decided to give serving the cuisine himself a go, and he’s gearing up to open Taqueria Diana at 129 Second Avenue in the East Village. La Rue hails from San Francisco, where he worked in a number of upscale Mexican restaurants. When he landed here, he served as the manager at The Meatball Shop.
This will be the first restaurant that La Rue can call his own, and he’ll be manning the burners as well as running the show. “It’s been exciting and very interesting, yet stressful,” he says. “I’m learning to let go in a lot of ways and am starting to pick it up as I go.”
Taqueria Diana will serve tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and rotisserie chicken from an open kitchen where La Rue will be making fresh tortillas. And with an exposed brick wall, wood finishes, and steel accents in the plans for the build-out, he hopes his finished space will be “really sharp.”
La Rue plans to serve lunch and dinner as soon as the restaurant opens, and he’d like to keep the spot open late on weekends once he finds his footing. And as for the name? La Rue isn’t ready to divulge the origins just yet, so he’s leaving that a mystery.
Taqueria Diana should open sometime next month.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 21, 2013