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After numerous trips to Los Angeles, Thomas Cataldo, Jr. wanted to bring the unique styles of the LA taco home to Long Island. So he turned to his mother, AnnMarie, and her decades of restaurant experience. Together, the two opened Dirty Taco and Tequila in Wantagh.
The mother-son duo opened the restaurant at 3261 Merrick Road on July 11. Being Massapequa natives, the two wanted to bring the LA taco concept to the South Shore.
The Dirty Taco is not like your average taco that you would find at a Mexican restaurant. “An LA taco has an Asian influence within it,” AnnMarie said. ” The Korean short rib with kimchi and spicy mayo is our signature taco. Kung Pao chicken or Vietnamese shrimp are just some of the many Asian-American influenced tacos on the menu. We are as much Asian as we are Mexican. The slogan “No Boundaries” sums it up.”
In addition to tacos, there are also unique drinks available, like the watermelon basil cocktail. AnnMarie said that the Korean short rib taco is the most popular. But her favorites are the Vietnamese shrimp and the pulled barbecue chicken.
The interior of the restaurant blends street art and music. “The vibe at Dirty Taco is like no other,” said AnnMarie. “Once you step into the front door you feel like you’ve been transported to another place. LA hip and New York cool. Music and street art are just part of what makes dirty taco special.”
Dirty Taco opens at 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information on the restaurant, visit its website.