Border Grill - Santa Monica
Border Grill - Santa Monica

Border Grill - Santa Monica

  • 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.

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

    DINNER:
    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.

    HAPPY HOUR:
    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: Latin American, Mexican, Contemporary Mexican
  • 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 3104511655x
  • Special Events: 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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Border Grill - Santa Monica reviews from OpenTable diners
66 reviews since July 29, 2014
Overall Rating4
  • Food4.1
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance3.7
    Noise LevelModerate
84% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
fit for foodies (29)good for groups (29)neighborhood gem (22)hot spot (16)vibrant bar scene (13)great for brunch (12)kid-friendly (12)great for lunch (11)special occasion (11)late-night find (6)notable wine list (2)great for outdoor dining (2)romantic (2)Show More
  • Nice Surprise
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 11/23/2014
    Innovative Fresh Mex with a hip twist. Excellent food.... interesting and delicious margaritas. Best Chili Releno ever! Excellent Chicken Enchiladas. We would definitely return for another round of food and drink.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Heartburn again
    FoobahVIP
    Dined on 11/21/2014
    For the second time I had heartburn later in the night after eating here. The shrimp ceviche was so-so, the classic combination was also not up to snuff. The green chile tomales, that I view as dessert, were not so good as usual, and I didn't like the chicken whatever.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • High end service and food in a casual atmosphere
    AR23VIP
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    I enjoyed dinner with a large group and we were all very happy with quality of the service and food. High end, excellent flavor at a reasonable cost.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mouth watering!!!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 11/18/2014
    Been going to this location and the Vrgas location over the last 10 years. The change up their menu, it always great. Drinks the best. Everything is fresh and fabulos!!! I don't think I have had a bad meal there. My kids love to celebrate their family dinner at Border Grill.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food and Servier
    Swg126VIP
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    The queso/cheese and chorizo appetizer that is served in a chunkier style (vs the smoother version) is AMAZING!!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We love Border Grill!
    ColinArey
    Dined on 11/15/2014
    My wife and I recently dined at the Santa Monica Border Grill for her birthday. We've been to the downtown location for our Anniversary a few years ago, and loved it… and since we were spending her birthday weekend in Santa Monica, we wanted to try this one, as well. The food was just as we remembered it: amazing! We were even given a free dessert, in honor of my wife's birthday—which was very cool! The apple empanada… you have to wait a little while for it, as they make it special, but it is SO worth waiting for! Can't say enough great things about Border Grill.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Continued Santa Monica Stand Out
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 11/11/2014
    Over order the tasty margaritas and liberally sprinkle the infield with the guac, out of this world tamales and their other apps. Frankly better than tge entrees, altho they are very good as well, esp the tacos. The carnitas are excellent as well. And the skirt steak a safe favorite. The Two Hot Tamales have not let this place slip at all over the years, thankfully.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • GREAT food!
    SCook
    Dined on 10/24/2014
    We enjoyed our visit; this restaurant was recommended to me by a friend that lives in LA. The guacamole was some of the best I have ever had! The pomegranate margarita was excellent. This atmosphere is nice and relaxing. Downtown Santa Monica was a fun place to shop.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Unsatisfactory Service
    Pooh
    Dined on 10/21/2014
    Unfortunately, the service at this location was poor. We ordered guacamole (at $9.95) and we were brought two small plates, one had two tablespoons worth and the other more. Little did we know that we were begin charged for two orders . . . we did NOT order two. Our food came to the table and it was cool, not hot. Our waiter had an attitude that was unbecoming for someone who hopes for good tips. His customer service was NOT good. When I asked him a question he rolled his eyes and walked away. My family is in the customer service industry and I can tell you this waiter never learned that "the customer is always right".
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    Regular
    Dined on 10/15/2014
    Not worth going to. Food is forgettable. Don't spend time or money here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great dining at Border Grill
    RLMJLVIP
    Dined on 10/10/2014
    We had a lovely dining experience at the Border Grill. The team service was extremely professional, efficient and attentive without being intrusive. There was a large corporate group having dinner nearby, yet, our dinner was not negatively impacted by their meal. The food was fresh and creative. Nice portions. Excellent value. Overall, we would rate the Border Grill as a definite place to go for a great meal.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Good Margaritas. Interesting menu.
    SMWill
    Dined on 9/16/2014
    The Cadillac Margarita is much better than the syrupy version sold at most restaurants in this price range. Salsas are fresh. Menu includes dishes from South America - - not just the usual Tex-Mex. Try the moqueca.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful Service - Incredible Food
    FromagerVIP
    Dined on 9/12/2014
    Tonight I dined on the Queso Fundido and the Mahi Mahi Veracruz. The QF was okay. I found it somehow lacking in cheese, and overly heavy on chorizo. Because of this, we decided to share the Veracruz, which was SPECTACULAR! The fish was incredibly fresh, the sauce light and full flavored. Absolutely memorable!!!! Something worthy of considerable mention was the quality of the service. We felt pampered from the minute we entered until the moment we said our goodbyes. I've been in the restaurant business for 35 years, and I can count the times I received service this fine on one hand. The server was attentive and knowledgeable, really at the top of her game. I left a 25% gratuity.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, hot spot, late-night find, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Still Good after all these years
    Rebel
    Dined on 9/11/2014
    I've been a regular customer of the Border Grill way back when it was on Melrose - I've been a fan of Susan and Mary Sue's other restaurants and truly miss City Restaurant from way back when. But I can always count on the Border Grill - never have had a bad meal, best margaritas in town. I especially love the Grilled Turkey steak which is a holdout from City (thank you very much). I've never been disappointed in either the one in Santa Monica or downtown.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Border Grill delivers the goods
    Jazzman
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    This was our second time dining here and it was every bit as enjoyable as the first time. We brought an out-or-town friend for his first visit and he concurred. If there was a downside to the experience it was the high tab. With 2 drinks each and one appetizer between us, we were a bit shocked by the bill of $170 but of course we ordered what we wanted and were just not used to paying that much in a "Mexican" restaurant. Not to worry, though, it was that much better than your standard Mexican fare. We will be back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem, notable wine list, special occasion, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Coasting
    highlandsteve
    Dined on 8/30/2014
    We've eaten here before and were eager to come back upon a long-delayed trip to Santa Monica. Despite the "Two Hot Tamales" pedigree, there's little evidence of their inspiration left in the kitchen. Nothing was bad, but nothing was ooh-ahh either. It may be a cut above generic Mexican food dumbed down for American tastes, but I was expecting to be a little more dazzled than I was. For example, I made it through my $23 Yucatan pork OK, but it was easy to forget about it five minutes later. Plus: friendly service, kid-friendly and decent if somewhat overpriced cocktails.
    Special Features:
    hot spot, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food was okay; service was slow
    Southpas61VIP
    Dined on 8/25/2014
    The best thing about this place is that there was availability and it's directly across the street from the public parking garage. Other than that, the food was passable and the service was slow so don't expect a quick lunch. Bus boy provided probably the best service.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Even better with age....
    Easyguy711
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    I've been following the Border Grill since Melrose a million years ago. The "Hot Tamales" are better than ever. It started out excellent and has gotten better over the years. It is often not given the recognition it deserves. This was my first time for brunch. The quality of the ingredients and the proper handling and balance of the food is inspiring. They have taken Latin cuisine to new heights while being true to it's roots and not "California-izing" or fusing it. The unlimited small plates were excellent. The server steered us right. We enjoyed the plates that involved eggs the most. The room design and oversized art is the coolest of any restaurant I've been to. The value was there for sure. Go. It won't disappoint.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • tha bomb dot com!
    Brownhornet
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    A great place to eat I reccomend the Yucatan pork and the guacho steak! Yum.. don't get caught sleeping on this place. Border grill is the real deal! Enjoy! Cheers
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • JelsVIP
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Brunch service is slow, so do not come super hungry.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Questionable Queso
    foodie123
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    Upon ordering, they said that they were out of queso. The waiter came back later and said that there was some left. I'm pretty sure they brought us soup. It tasted like the chicken tortilla soup broth, not queso... Other than that, the margaritas were great. If I go back, I wouldn't order the queso again.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for brunch, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • loved it
    savory
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Food was great, we are vegetarians and there was a a good selection and they were very accommodating to our wishes.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Food was good, not great for groups
    none
    Dined on 7/30/2014
    Food was good. Not great for groups. We made reservation for 8, confirmed by phone and were on time. Plenty of room in dining room, yet hostess picked least desirable section to pull two tables together to keep a corridor of empty tables between us and the rest of the dinners, away from light, but plenty close to the noise of the kitchen. Plenty of room in dining room when we left, so it wasn't that the better situated tables were taken.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 43 ratings-only reviews submitted since July 29, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.1
    • Food4.1
    • Ambiance3.7
    • Service4.3
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 1129 reviews are from the Border Grill - Santa Monica reviews archive.
  • adventurous
    guest
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    dineLA menu offered tasty items to choose from, some new & not on the regular menu.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • DineLA 2014
    Luv2eat
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    I came with a group of friends and ordered of the DineLA menu. I was impressed as they has many tasty options. The Border Grill empanadas and tamale were very tasty. The Sateed shrimp was a bit too lemony, but edible.My favorite part was dessert, Choco tacos are a must! service was great! Our waiter was very attentive and friendly
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Delicious spot every time
    Pcgrieco13
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    Everytime we go to Border Grille, it's awesome! Delicious food, friendly staff and never disappoints. Love the turkey dinner, and the taco's! So good. And try the jalapeno margaritas! Yum.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Great Food- Time For A Update
    msohnenVIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    So, Let me start by saying that I ate at Border Grill when they were on Melrose...a long time ago. I have returned over the years and always felt that the food was really good. I have also followed the two Chef Owners as well and have always admired their accomplishments. I went to the Border Grill in Santa Monica this last weekend. I found the food to be as I remembered it...very good. Having said that, I don't think I will go back. It does not happen to me very often, but I felt like taking a shower when I got home. The restaurant is in need of a fresh coat of paint, and more importantly...a deep clean. Simply said, I felt that it was quite dirty.
    Special Features:
    vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Border Grill - good dining
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 7/18/2014
    Enjoyed the food and bar. We met an friend from out of town and it was well worth the dining. My wife and I had some drinks at the bar before he arrived and the margaritas were very good. One complaint when my wife ordered a 2nd drink and it took so long we had to cancel it when our friend arrived. Once we sat down, the service was enjoyable. Place is a little loud, but not so bad we couldn't talk. Overall thumbs up for the restaurant.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Very nice experience
    cc1983VIP
    Dined on 7/17/2014
    Food was very unique, but worth it. Pork belly was delicious, and came with fried plantains and rice, and was well seasoned. Friends of mine at the table had the burger which made me jealous. Very nice experience.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Meh
    callthemlikeitastethem
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Food was only so-so. My friend's skirt steak was so over done, the edges were hard like charcoal. My food was lukewarm from sitting and mushy. Would not return. Also, over-priced for what it was.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Food2loveVIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    Service was a stand-out! Both the host and our waiter, John, went out out of their way to accomodate.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • A must for GF food lovers
    hapychpy
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    As one who enjoys ALL Mexican food - from cheap taco's to high end cuisine, this is my absolute favorite "must have" when we visit Santa Monica! I have to eat GF and was impressed an delighted by their extensive menu choices.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • sheeba
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    would not recommend this restaurant. it was recommended from our hotel looking for authentic upscale mexican. food was very sub par. i ordered a pork dish that was basically inedible. wait service however was very attentive and friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Love the food!
    Mcgeek
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Great tacos and guacamole! The house margarita was amazing as well! Would love to come here again!
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, late-night find, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Great Brunch!
    curlycheryl
    Dined on 7/6/2014
    Our service was wonderful and I love that you can order as many dishes as you want from the brunch menu. The dishes are small so if you don't like what you ordered you can order again! The menu is unique and my party had fun trying and sharing many wonderful dishes.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great find!
    laj623
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    Being from the east coast, it can be difficult to find great Mexican food. The Border Grill exceeded my wildest expectations. While not exactly cheap, I was so impressed by the menu, the happy hour deals and even the complementary chips and salsa. The poblano quesadilla appetizer was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. Our server was extremely friendly and the atmosphere was welcoming. I would come here again and recommend it to anybody without hesitation.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and food
    ECLen
    Dined on 6/26/2014
    Went for an early dinner on a Thursday night. Service was friendly, attentive w/out being overbearing (I hate when servers come by a lot and ask if everything's ok). I am not a foodie, all I know is the dishes we had were delicious with interesting flavors and a laid back, comfortable atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointing
    KimberlyNYC
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    This is the first negative review I've taken the time to write. Nothing horrible happened, per se, but overall, it was a disappointing experience. We were entertaining colleagues, who are locals of the area. I'd heard great things and was familiar with the chefs/owners, so had high expectations. The ambience felt a bit dated, from the dirty carpet and painted furniture to tableware. Service was OK but confusing. We were waited on by 3 different people throughout a 90-minute dinner. Seemed to be a lack of awareness; i.e. asking for food orders when drinks hadn't arrived yet. Food was mediocre - mine came out room temp. Resembled cuisine any other Mexican chain restaurant could offer. I was embarrassed, having made the reservation.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, vibrant bar scene
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Top favorite in Los Angeles!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    Food is unlike you will find anywhere else. An all you can eat brunch of unlimited small pllates of their unique food (and I wouldn't call them small plates..the portions are sizeable) for $30 is an unheard of bargain with $10 bottomless mimosas. When a restaurant can elevate an artfully served plate of green and white rice and black beans to 5 star presentation and melt in your mouth taste, it is definitely a foodie find. The plantains are HIGHLY recommended.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Disappointed
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 6/18/2014
    The food was not as flavorful as I thought it was going to be. The tables were sticky and the floor was dirty. Would not visit again.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall