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  • Border Grill - Santa Monica

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Border Grill - Santa Monica
Border Grill - Santa Monica

Border Grill - Santa Monica Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.bordergrill.com
  • Phone: (310) 451-1655
  • Hours of Operation: LUNCH:
    Monday thru Friday - 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Saturday and Sunday - 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Saturday and Sunday - 10:00a.m. to 3 p.m. (in addition to Lunch menu)

    Monday through Thursday - 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.
    Friday - 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Saturday - 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
    Sunday - 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

    Monday thru Friday - 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
    Friday and Saturday - 9 p.m. to close
    Sunday - all day
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Contemporary Mexican, Latin American
  • Executive Chef: Chef/Owners: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Delivery, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night, Private Room, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Catering: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”, have been entertaining guests for more than 25 years at their popular, critically-acclaimed restaurants. Now you can bring their unique style and expertise to your next event.

    Choose from a mix of modern, bold flavors with menus from Border Grill and Border Grill Truck, as well as the cosmopolitan flavors of Mary Sue and Susan’s first restaurant CITY.

    Call today for an unforgettable party! 213.486.5171
  • Private Party Facilities: Throw your party at Border Grill Santa Monica! Border Grill was designed with parties in mind so we offer flexible options!

    Upstairs Private Party Room: Sit-down dining for up to 43 guests, cocktail parties for 50, or boardroom style meetings for 25.

    Main Dining Room: Dining for 150 seated or 200 for a cocktail party with tray-passed hors d'oeuvres and food stations.

    The Whole Enchilada: Have the entire place for up to 300 friends!

    Call today for an unforgettable party! 310.451.1655
  • Private Party Contact: Kim Gile (310) 451-1655
  • Special Events & Promotions: For special event details on everything from cooking classes to margarita tasting dinners, go to www.bordergrill.com.

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: SELF PARKING: Parking structure #5 is directly across the street from the restaurant on 4th St. The cost is a $3 flat rate after 6:00 p.m.

    VALET PARKING: United Valet Parking Service is located at Grisby’s Santa Monica Automotive Service, 401 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401. It is on the corner of 4th St. and Broadway two doors down from Border Grill. The cost is $8.
A word from Border Grill - Santa Monica
Enjoy upscale, modern Mexican food in a vibrant setting at Border Grill, the hip, urban cantina from Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”. Presenting the bold foods and flavors of Mexico, Border Grill has established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare.
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerKid Friendly
Diner Reviews
  • "very disappointing meal. the food was bad. the best part of our meal were the chips and salsa. Not a very good experience. would not recommend this to anyone."
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "Booked a table at the Border Grill in Santa Monica, and was a bit disappointed. We were a party of four, and two of us ordered the brunch and two straight off the lunch menu. The brunch is expensive ($30 per person), the portions are tiny and take way too long. Our friends got their lunch 15-20 minutes before we received our first dish. Water and other drinks were not refilled, we had to flag down the waiter or a busboy when we needed something rather than having him check on us. And the restaurant was not even half full. I'm generally pretty forgiving about service, but this was a bit too much for me especially given the high prices for lunch/brunch. I will say everyone was very friendly, which was nice, and the décor is cute and festive."
    Dined on 3/22/2014
  • "A big, noisy place, with pretty good food, fine service and a wide choice of drinks. Casual and bustling, not somewhere for a reflective meal, but great for classy refuelling."
    Dined on 3/16/2014
  • "chef robert lia was amazing, food was awesome..we will be back"
    Dined on 3/18/2014
  • "While the menu seemed creative the execution of each dish was very poor. Completely under seasoned and over cooked. The cocktails were awful as well and in no way deserve a premium $12 price. The decor is dated as well, basically this whole place needs to be reconcepted. They did respond positively to a negative tweet about our experience so there is hope that they'll change. We'll see the next time we are in California."
    Dined on 3/14/2014
  • "Truly excellent quality Mexican cuisine couples with friendly and seasoned service. Very child-friendly to boot."
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Hands down - one of the worst dining experiences in the last few years. Had some out-of-town friends here who wanted to see SM and am still apologizing for taking them here! Service was terrible, slow, ill-timed, and they served the wrong dishes to my friends but the food was so nondescript that they couldn't tell until half way through the meal. We shared the "signature" tamales as appetizers which was nothing more than a filling of creamed corn. The fish in the grilled fish tacos and they were so skimpy that the grill marks went all the way through the piece of fish, so all I could taste was a fishy char. Side dishes were also bland, dry and tepid as well. Noise levels prohibit any conversation. Can't recommend on any level."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "We had not been back to Border Grill for awhile. The food was as delicious as ever. The drinks were quite tasty and creative. The staff was good, but need a little encouragement to be more prompt and attentive. The decor is still eclectic, and the lighting needs to be improved. Still a Santa Monica landmark."
    Dined on 2/24/2014
  • "The noise is the only detriment I can think of with the restaurant. It was my first time there and I went for brunch with 2 other people. The restaurant was only 1/2 full, but very loud. The food was amazing though, and going for brunch was the perfect way to get to try several different dishes. (Unlike going at other meals, if I wished I'd ordered what someone else did, I could!). We all left the restaurant full and very very happy."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "The flavors of the food were excellent with some interesting and creative items on the menu. The service was friendly if a bit slow."
    Dined on 3/9/2014
  • "Went for brunch and all the plates were delicious! Unlimited mimosas for an additional cost and worth it. Never had to ask for another mimosa, they just kept coming! Service was outstanding."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Border Grill has been around a long time and the food is consistently delicious. However, we were there on a Saturday night, it was jammed, and the noise level was nearly deafening. It was very hard to have a conversation and we were in a corner. Our waiter was courteous and helpful, but had so many tables to cover he couldn't get back to us very quickly. The space needs to be revised for noise control and maybe hire a couple more waiters."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "The food was truly superb. Our server was quick to tell us of the celebrity chef management when we sat down, but it did not disappoint! I had a special which was a tostada with pork in a mole sauce and it was fantastic. I also recommend the carnitas and the ceviche. Margaritas were fine, but you needed the premium ones at $14 a pop to enjoy them. Yikes. Slightly pricey, but the the food was worth it!"
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Restaurant seems to have lost some of stuff it used to have and the food was OK."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "I was very excited to have my husband try Border Grill- I have been to the downtown location and it was wonderful. The hostess was very rude, we were given the wrong information for dineLA and we missed it, we waited 30min to get our entrée. The restaurant was not very clean."
    Dined on 1/26/2014
  • "My girlfriend and I booked dinner here for Saturday 15th, I live in London so we only get to see one another every few months. I booked this place and asked for flowers on the the table; when we arrived there they were: a large bunch of flowers! Food was excellent as was the service. Excellent margaritas as well."
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "I had not been to Border Grill in a couple of years and found myself asking why not? The flavors are fantastic. Even the guacamole is terrific. I don't know exactly what they do to it, but we were scraping the dish. I had the Chicken Poblano enchiladas which were scrumptious. My dining partners had the Mole Enchiladas and the Chile relleno. We were all very happy. Also enjoyed my Pomegranite Margarita. I will make it a priority to go back soon."
    Dined on 2/18/2014
  • "Server was nice and seemed great, but then admitted to getting slammed and disappeared. After receiving a partial wrong order had no choice but to eat it anyway because server was no where to be found. She did take that dish off the ticket, but overall really left us snarling about the experience."
    Dined on 2/16/2014
  • "Enjoyed a great Valentine's Dinner with my girlfriend. The food was great and the service is always top notch. Border Grill always comes through!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "The food was OK, but not as good as I remember (rice with chile relleno was dry and hard). The atmosphere was upbeat and fun. The drinks were good. Overall we had a good time, but next time I'll try another entree."
    Dined on 2/13/2014
  • "Stopped in here for dinner during a long layover at LAX. After 2 weeks of Japanese food, Border Grill provided some welcome relief. Food was Delicious and the menu had a ton of unique offerings. Drink menu was typical, also with some unique offerings. A great recommendation in all respects. We will be back if we find ourselves in SM again."
    Dined on 2/9/2014
  • "Enjoyed everything we tried for lunch. Imaginative, well prepared Mexican fare."
    Dined on 2/10/2014
  • "The food was outstanding, delicious beyond words. Border Grill offered a variety of gluten free items, which was a primary concern - but we also found that they are terrific stewards of sustainability & organic of food ingredients. It's a tightly packed and noisey environment - so difficult to carry on conversations. The staff hustled and were extremely polite."
    Dined on 2/8/2014
  • "A little bit away from the hustle and bustle of the promenade, Border Grill was a great lunch spot. Excellent chips and guac. Would definitely recommend the fish tacos."
    Dined on 2/1/2014
  • "underwhelmed. Great service and drinks. the food not so much. you would think that 2 top chef masters could make a decent ceviche - something any corner restaurant in Miami can manage."
    Dined on 1/30/2014
  • "We grabbed a couple tacos (Al Pastor and Fish) from here. They were delicious. Great flavor. The Al Pastor was spicy, but a dry heat. I loved the pineapple on it, mellowed the heat out. It came with black beans, cilantro rice, and mexican rice. There was also complimentary chips and three types of salsa. Nice place, and would definitely go back."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "Border Grill has been around for a long time and I have always wanted to try it. Unfortunately, the experience did not meet my expectations. After being seating nearly 30 minutes past my reservation time, the service was friendly but slow. The food was fine but not spectacular. At nearly $80 for two (with no alcohol), this was overpriced Mexican food that just wasn't worth the money."
    Dined on 1/25/2014
  • "It was very good. Great food, great service. We know that restaurant for a long time now, and it's always a pleasure to go back!"
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Good though not outstanding Mexican food. Pork special was disappointingly dry and corn tamales lacked the usual corn shell. They seemed to have only the innermost filling. Almost impossible to talk to each other due to noise level. We have always looked forward to eating here, having eaten at Ciudad downtown and were disappointed."
    Dined on 1/19/2014
  • "Super Tasty food and excellent service. There isn't a better deal for bottomless mimosas and unlimited tapas around."
    Dined on 1/18/2014
  • "The staff was very friendly. We ordered margaritas which were very good. My date had the steak quesadilla and there were no complaints from him. I had the pork dish (not sure what it is called) which was good but it not come with enough homemade tortillas (which were delish!) The food came out quickly and our waitress was very helpful. There were a few large parties that had imbibed maybe a bit too much and they were being rather loud. But the atmosphere matched the decor...loud... which is not a bad thing but I was on a date and it would have been nice if it were a little quieter. I would definitely return."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Wonderful diversion from the usual Tex-Mex menu. Poor parking situation. Busy with need to catch serving staff sometimes."
    Dined on 12/28/2013
  • "Went with a group of 8 and could not have had more fun! Incredible food and a great environment! We will definitely be going back!"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "Overpriced, mediocre food. There are tons of better Mexican restaurants in the area. After being seated, the waitress came by our table twice to say "I'll be right with you" before actually taking our drink orders. I tried to order a beer, and she responded "the menu lies sometimes and we don't have that one" rather than just saying "we are currently out". The food was okay at best. The portions were rather small considering the price tag. The interior design of the restaurant was not pleasant. Overall, if you want good Mexican food in Santa Monica, you should try El Cholo, La Sandia, or my favorite: El Texate (3rd and Pico) which is a hidden gem that is 1000X better than Border Grill"
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "Everything was incredible. From our Chicago transplant brunette server to our delicious green corn tamales. My mother and I went for a quick lunch. We ordered 4 things to share amongst us. We spread all of the plates out and were taking turns rotating which plates were in front of us. YUM! The hostess was very polite and checked in on us and I really appreciated that. From the moment we walked in we were greeted in such a friendly and warm way that my mom immediately remembered why this is her favorite restaurant in LA. Our water was never empty and our service was prompt. Too prompt actually with another employee, but that is not something that effects our rating of the restaurant and food."
    Dined on 1/10/2014
  • "This restaurant had an amazing atmosphere. We arrived there 30 minutes prior our reservation, the hostess was really nice and asked us to seat at the bar while waiting till our table was ready for us. The drinks were ok, I got a caipirinha and the first one was too sweet and the second one was a little better, my wife is brazilian and I know how a real caipirinha test. She got a sangria that wasn't the best, it tasted as it was the end of the pitcher. We got seated and our server took 15 minutes to come and was already saying that the kitchen would close in 15 minutes. But beside all of this the food was fabulous, not a real mexican restaurants but a wonderful taste"
    Dined on 12/31/2013
  • "My husband and I were looking forward to this dinner as being the highlight meal of our California trip after having tasted Mary Sue Miliken's food at a charity event. However, we were disappointed overall. The service and ambiance were very nice and the meal had a promising start with amazingly fresh, thick tortilla chips. The tortilla soup and jicama salad were both bland and the plantain empanadas were cold and soggy. The waitress apologized and brought a new plate which were warm and soggy. My ceviche was passable so I ate that with lots of chips. The dessert was amazing. Made-to-order churros and and order of house made chocolate raspberry ice cream. Wonderful when eaten together."
    Dined on 12/22/2013
  • "Very interesting menu but way short on execution. Bland salsas, guacamole loaded with onion, ceviche and crane as ads both overpowered with lime juice. A sloppy kitchen."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "Very good food; lots of variety; some interesting and unique dishes; great for sharing; excellent service; and reasonable prices (for Santa Monica)."
    Dined on 12/14/2013
  • "I took an East Coast visitor here as he'd requested Mexican food. Parking was easy, since we went to a movie on 2nd Street first, and the structures had space. Despite having a reservation, we were seated at the entrance to the kitchen, about 5 ft from a large party (12) with many kids. Not conducive for conversation, but by sitting next to each other it was passable. Our waiter was brand-new (on a Saturday night? Really?), but he was very earnest. Food grades are: amuse-bouche A+, plantain empanadas +, guacamole C, green corn tamales A+, stuffed poblano B+, pork and banana leaves B+. Drinks: Minty Lime cooler A+, jalapeno margarita A+, Mexican hot chocolate A+, spiked Mexican hot chocolate A+. YUM Good for a 2.5 hour dinner."
    Dined on 12/14/2013