Can L.A. accommodate another taco spot? What a stupid question. There’s always room for more tacos! The latest great addition is Diablo Tacos – a Silverlake spot that opened in early August of last year.
Diablo’s owner Summer Stearns and her muse/boyfriend Gregg Wiele pride themselves on providing a “eclectic, seasonal variety” of tacos – so much so, that Diablo’s chalkboard walls are designed to allow regular menu revisions. Patrons are treated to a rotating spread of beef, chicken, fish, shrimp, lobster and many other delicious fillings.
The tacos themselves are like miniature gourmet dinners served in corn tortillas, combining unexpected ingredients. The pork belly taco, for example, contains braised pork, caramelized banana, thai peanuts, and relish. The crispy rock fish taco is battered in tempura and mixed with lime crema and picked red onions. The beef in the beef cheek taco is braised for six hours, “a Yankee pot roast dinner in your face,” as Wiele likes to describe it. For all the PETA fanatics out there, Diablo also serves a vegan burrito and salads – though their tacos have converted a few vegetarians back into omnivores.
“In no way are we trying to bastardize the taco,” says Wiele. “We’re just trying to elevate it to another level.”
While these tacos look and taste pretty fancy compared with the ones your abuelita made (puro queso y papa, man, we were poor), they’re served at decent prices ($2 – $5). And what are tacos without hot sauce?! Stearne and Wiele currently have two homemade sauces they bottle and sell: Habanero Gasoline (fire-grilled habanero chilis hand- macerated with sea salt and blends of vinegar, lime juice) and Ghost Chili Napalm (lightly smoked ghost chilis with blends of different sea salts and vinegars).
To cool off your smoldering tongue, Diablo also serves a large selection of craft beers on tap as well as bottled. They’ve hosted special craft beer dinners with Eagle Rock Brewery, Stone Brewing Company, and have more collaborations in the works.
Perhaps one of their most original creations, however, is the Michelada paleta. The ingredients for a michelada mix are frozen into a paleta that can be dipped or dunked into any beer of choice. They also sell a variety of non-michelada paletas for the kids. “We get a good family crowd,” says Stearns.
To complete the sensory feast, Diablo also has a small art gallery that features the work of one local artist on rotation for two months. The idea began when a former employee asked to exhibit her work inside the restaurant. “She sold, probably, nine or 10 works here,” recalls Wiele, “ and her pieces are over a thousand dollars a piece.” “We opened it up to anybody,” says Stearns. “We don’t take commission on any of the work. We just enjoy having it on the wall, which is nice.”
Diablo Tacos 3129 W. Sunset Blvd. (across from Los Globos) 323-666-4666