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[Photographs: Max Falkowitz]

St. Marks Place has its share of late night taco stops, some more disreputable than others. The latest to join the fray is Taqueria Diana, which was opened by homesick Californian Matthew La Rue. The slender space boasts an equally streamlined menu: tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and nachos, with options of chicken, steak, carnitas, al pastor, cheese, and rajas, strips of roasted poblanos. There is also roast chicken.

The tacos ($3 each) are built on foundations of pliant, reasonably fresh corn tortillas. I wish they spent a little more time crisping up on the griddle, but by New York standards they do well, and they hold up the ample fillings piled on top of them. Al Pastor is full of crisp, almost burnt edges and some slivers of juicy pineapple. It could stand to be juicier, but the wash of chili heat and warm spices does this taco right.

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By comparison, the Carnitas is downright demure. Though juicy, you could practically call the flavor clean. A perky salsa verde gives it the umph it needs, but some of the crisp edges from the al pastor would be a good addition. This pulled pork is all soft.

Solution? Order two tacos and split the fillings 50/50. Best of both worlds, and not a bad deal for six bucks at midnight. Or 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the New York editor at Serious Eats. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

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