Dining Design Diary: Candelaria


About a year-and-a-half ago two Los Angeles  designers picked up and moved to Paris. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that not too long after, the third arrondissement finally got it’s very own SoCal-style taqueria, Candelaria. The designers, David Rager and his wife Cheri Messerli, were put in charge of the interiors of the place, which is a a magical mash-up of street-facing taco-shop and hidden back-room bar. 

The small storefront sports a simple design and serves tacos and taco-supporting cocktails, but a push on the back wall reveals a hidden, stone-walled den of drinks and whimsical art and interiors. 

Rager and Messerli signed on a few of their international cadre of talented friends, including Los Angeles artist Amy Jo Diaz, who with Keren Richter of Brooklyn (and an SF native) created the neo-psychedelic murals. 

The tables, bar top and flooring are by Adrian Rubi-Dentzel, a designer and craftsman from Santa Barbara, who gave new life to wood palettes found inside the taqueria. 

For the moody lighting in the bar, Rager sourced vintage glass balls from Rome, carting them back ever-so-carefully in his suitcase to create the bundled lighting fixtures. 

Photo by Danielle Rubi

The husband and wife team also specialize in graphic  design (he was the senior designer at Los Angeles’ MOCA and NYC’s New Museum) so everything from the menu to the window signage was of the same creative vision. 

Another vision that other SoCal expats in Paris are sure to appreciate? The crates of avocados and limes lining the window and the authentic tacos de carnitas coming off the grill. 

Photo by Danielle Rubi


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