Diablo Tacos Silverlake
Just opened in the former La Parilla (of the Mexican singing Elvis.) space.
The space is new, so it would be unfair to negatively comment about the service, wait, etc., but I will say service went off without a hitch, and the food and drinks came out quickly. The beer selection was good, the space is a nice modern improvement over La Parilla. It's good to see places turning over with new higher end tenants.
That's the good news.
I didn't quite understand the layout. All 4 top tables with one long communal table in the middle - which used to be a wall separating the booths, they left it because of budget?
There is a ton of dead and unused space, it seems like they tried to emulate Wurstkutche and are expecting people to wait in line and order in one room and then have a dining room with a bar.
At least during start up, it doesn't seem to work, it's just odd.
The menu reads like it could either be very creative and good, or way off the mark. Unfortunately, having tried 6 different tacos, I vote off the mark. Just too many conflicting ingredients that don't work together. Does pork belly need caramelized banana? and peanut sauce? and cilantro? Does the chicken taco need to be fried, sweet maple fried? with kale? and then a vinaigrette? All of it is served wrapped in a store bought tortilla. I read they make fresh tortillas, but not on my visit.
I hope for the best for them, but without some menu changes, I can't see going back.
Unfortunately it seems high end tenants go hand in hand with incongruous ingredients. What was the price point? I had read $5-$8 a piece. I can't imagine paying that when I can get a decent taco anywhere in the immediate area for $2-$3. Seems like a dreadful addition to the neighborhood.
It sounds, so far, like too much "concept", and not enough tasting, went into picking the menu, and not enough thought went into organizing the front of the house..
Notwithstanding the summit on the subject a few years ago, "envelope-pushing" Mexican food is still proving to be a challenge to pull off well, even in Los Angeles, and even more of a challenge to make a successful biz model. (Remember Provecho? Remember the 6th St. location of Chichen Itza?) This is my 'hood, so I wish these guys luck, but maple-fried chicken tacos, with kale? Sounds like the punch-line of a joke about Silverlake...
Had the maple fried chicken/kale taco and it was just wrong and yes, the tortilla's tasted like they came from the 99c Store. These off pairings/combos are what we refer to as the chef "spinning the ingredients wheel." Few can pull them off successfully.
Plus, the "urban taco fabricator" tagline just makes me cringe. As one poster on another board put it, that would be like having a sign for those who enter Silver Lake - "Welcome to Silver Lake: An urban hipster enclave" Ugh! Just a bit too precious.