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  • Mercado - Santa Monica

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Mercado - Santa Monica
Mercado - Santa Monica

Mercado - Santa Monica Details

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.mercadosantamonica.com
  • Email: info@mercadosantamonica.com
  • Phone: (310) 526-7121
  • Hours of Operation: Dinner: Monday - Wednesday: 5pm - 10pm, Thursday & Friday: 5pm - 11pm, Saturday: 4pm - 11pm, Sunday: 4pm - 10pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX, Visa
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Executive Chef: Jose Acevedo
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Personal wines welcome (corkage fee applies)

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Santa Moinca
  • Parking: Public Lot
  • Parking Details: Parking Structure 5 is closest to the restaurant.
A word from Mercado - Santa Monica
Mercado in Santa Monica is an inventive mix of food, atmosphere and tradition, reflecting the heart & soul of New Mexican dining. The main dining room is an eclectic fusion of modern design, accented with classic touches, that create the ultimate in intimate upscale dining while remaining accessible and comfortable. The menu, created by Chef Jose Acevedo, exemplifies the cuisine and flavor of he and co-owner Jesse Gomez’s deep Mexican roots, featuring items such as Chef Acevedo's signature Carnitas, created from a recipe handed down through generations. With tortillas made by hand, the finest meats, poultry and seafood, flavorful sauces, carefully crafted ceviches, enchiladas and tacos, produce from the local farmers' market, and everything made from the freshest ingredients, Mercado offers handcrafted cuisine, artful design, warm atmosphere and service that is both friendly and informed to guide each guest through the dining experience. We look forward to having you join us soon!Continued
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "Most creative food. Each dish was beautifully presented by an adorable waitress who was so helpful. We devoured the shrimp tacos and the scallops - so fresh and perfectly prepared. Was too full to do the flan but look forward to many more meals there."
    Dined on 4/13/2014
  • "Went with a friend for dinner. We shared the carnitas which i highly recommend. They were tender and the taste was spot on. Everything we had was great and the margaritas were awesome."
    Dined on 4/12/2014
  • "Had another great dinner at Mercado. Brought two friends who came for first time. Now they are sold. Great find in Santa Monica."
    Dined on 4/11/2014
  • "Food is delicious, the staff is very attentive and lovely. The noise level is very high so if you want less noise, to be able to talk, go later or earlier than around 8 pm. I found that several times the hostess is not always very, what shall we say, smiling, but it is so noisy it's difficult to be listened to."
    Dined on 4/10/2014
  • "Food was delicious, service was excellent (even for a very crowded friday night!). I highly recommend it. But definitely make a reservation!"
    Dined on 4/4/2014
  • "Great guacamole and chips! Delicious tacos. Manager and staff were professional Definitely will go back"
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "We went on a Saturday night w/out-of-town friends--it was packed but our wait was 5 mins for our wonderful table upstairs. We were treated like royalty. Ordered the guacamole/chips & the mint lemonade is to die for, plus scallops, skirt steak, halibut, carnitas & small-plate tamales-everything was fabulous. The feather in the cap was their flan for dessert. Oh my gosh -- it was PERFECT! Came with fresh berries and this wonderful liqueur sauce that was also like an aperitif. You MUST leave room for this, which is the perfect ending to their spectacular entrees. We were actually pleasantly surprised by how really good everything was."
    Dined on 4/5/2014
  • "Great "upscale" Mexican, great crowd, and AMAZING cocktails. I would choose this place over Border Grill across the street any day."
    Dined on 3/7/2014
  • "Mercado is by far one of my favorite restaurants. Their food is just so amazing & made with fresh ingredients from the local Farmer's Market. I've never been disappointment by anything - no matter what you order, you're bound to have an amazing meal. I'm a sucker for their jicama tacos as well as the carnitas plate but you MUST order the flan. I tell everyone who goes to order it. The cocktails are outstanding. Hands down the best cucumber jalapeño margarita in town. They also started serving the Blood Orange margarita again. If you like an Old Fashioned, definitely try theirs but with mezcal. The restaurant itself is so beautifully done. You can sit downstairs or at the bar. Mercado is great for any kind of occasion."
    Dined on 4/2/2014
  • "Definitely not for kids however the homemade corn tortillas and carnitas are amazing"
    Dined on 3/30/2014
  • "This is new style Mexican food in a vibrant surrounding. They have an excellent selection of starters, salads, small and large plates as well as vegetable preparations. The guac and chips were a good way to start. We had a combination of small plates, vegetable (sweet corn was amazing) and salad. It was a perfect meal and not too heavy. We fixed that by ordering the flan which was excellent and more than enough for two of us. They have a large list of tequila and mezcal in addition to the usual beer, wine, etc. Probably worth exploring that part during out next visit. Service was excellent and the menu definitely warrants further exploration. Recommended."
    Dined on 3/27/2014
  • "A little loud, not for kids. Spicy food, almost too much and no warning on menu. Good drinks"
    Dined on 3/25/2014
  • "Our family had a marvelous time and the food was delicious. In a Sunday evening it was just the right balance of energy and we could easily talk to each other."
    Dined on 3/23/2014
  • "Our table was ready when we got there. Definitely a plus!"
    Dined on 3/21/2014
  • "We were sooo happy with our experience at Mercado. The cuisine was delicious and inventive, the service impeccable (and everyone genuinely worked as a team, including one of the owners), and the whole experience was really more of an event than just dinner! With three locations around LA area, we know that we'll be enjoying Mercado many times in the near future and onward. Yum, can't wait to have that Tres Leches dessert again. Thanks, folks!!"
    Dined on 3/15/2014
  • "Another great meal at Mercado was made even better by our waitress Casey who couldn't have been more charming or helpful. As always we started with most interesting guacamole in own, laced with pepitos. The amazing jicama tacos with crispy shrimp are unlike any as the taco shell is in fact a thinly sliced piece of the tuber topped topped with a crisp spicy shrimp, cabbage and a little habanero sauce. Sweet, hot and cool. Carnitas was a big hit and so was the tortilla soup. This place is not your father's Mexican restaurant."
    Dined on 3/17/2014
  • "Dip duo is fantastic. In addition to the guacamole and queso dip we thoroughly enjoyed sharing the Carnitas plate and the skirt steak skewers! Great flavors and plenty for 2! Nice atmosphere and prompt service. Good for date night or casual gathering with friends."
    Dined on 3/8/2014
  • "Fresh, very well prepared food, Good margaritas. Service friendly and attentive. We are not from the area but would return if in the neighborhood."
    Dined on 2/28/2014
  • "This was a great place to go with friends, had amazing food that just melted in my mouth, and original and fresh cocktails. Service was excellent and I am definitely going to make this place a regular spot for me. The crusted scallops, the alambres (steak skewers) and the tres leches cake area all highly recommended."
    Dined on 2/22/2014
  • "Our group of four thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere and food at the Mercado. The jalapeno martini is worth trying. The service was good. The restaurant has two levels and the lower level is a bit more hustle bustle (fun). Would definitely return again."
    Dined on 2/21/2014
  • "went to a after valentines day dinner with some friends and had a blast! Food was great and our server was on the spot, ambiance was the icing to a great experience!"
    Dined on 2/15/2014
  • "A delicious four course meal for Valentine's day... the corn chowder was superb, the beef skewer simply mouthwatering, and the lobster... don't even get me started."
    Dined on 2/14/2014
  • "Happy hour was well worth it. Great margaritas for $5!!! The fish tacos were delicious. The two queso fundido dishes were a little on the watery side and the chips were hard and somewhat stale. Carnitas were very tasty. I would certainly brave the horrendous traffic to eat there again."
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "I have been here before and feel the flavors are outstanding. A bit pricey, but worth it for a special occasion. The service and food came out quickly, which is perfect since we had an event to attend to later in the evening. Great experience overall!"
    Dined on 1/31/2014
  • "We will be back. We truly enjoyed our dinner. Fresh, great tasting meal."
    Dined on 1/27/2014
  • "this restaurant was delicious. attentive (not overbearing) service, flavorful food with every bite, and an extensive tequila list. i'd recommend the care asada, guacamole and the flan. do not leave without eating the flan."
    Dined on 1/24/2014
  • "Food and service are both excellent. Our friend who was visiting from Sweden had no idea Mexican food could be so interesting!"
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "food was very good. beautiful plating and tasty sauces. but it was so noisy, we couldn't even hear the waiter telling us the specials, and he didn't hear us add something to our order. we were a small group, and we couldn't hear each other across the table. two people eating there may be easier."
    Dined on 1/11/2014
  • "We went based on LA Mag's top rating as a new restaurant in 2013. What a let down. The margarita was uninspired -- like them better at El Torito for half the price. The food -- eh . Nothing special except the prices. The one dish that stood out was the market vegetables -- other than that all the small plates we tried were lacking flavor and originality. Also, the booth seats are extremely uncomfortable -- very hard, I had to sit on my coat."
    Dined on 1/3/2014
  • "We shared 3 small plates that were all outstanding. The tables are close and restaurant is noisy. If you don't mind that, this is a good choice."
    Dined on 12/30/2013
  • "Love this restaurant - fresh veggies, well prepared meats, mashed potatoes with cities and quesos fresco, squash blossoms to die for, great chopped salads, tacos and guacamole - great drinks, lovely wait staff and warmth all around. It's a must!"
    Dined on 12/29/2013
  • "Food was pretty good though our service was lacking... I suspect it's because we had a large group and gratuity was automatically included. Personally, I find that tactic a little obnoxious if a restaurant automatically includes gratuity but doesn't step up their service to at least normal levels. Our food came out at different times, and slowly, and we would have to flag down our waiter to order additional items. A little frustrating. Perhaps the restaurant was understaffed that night so I will give Mercado the benefit of the doubt. On the food front, get the flan for dessert -- it was a massive hit."
    Dined on 12/26/2013
  • "Fresh and inventive Mexican doesn't really describe this. Farm to table specials and the best chopped salad and guacamole in town"
    Dined on 12/24/2013
  • "I reserved a table for two for my wife and me for our 10th marriage anniversary. It was our first experience in this restaurant and we loved it! The waitress was really nice and regularly taking care of us. The food was really excellent! I choose a piece of beef which was awesome and my wife took a mix guacamole, melded cheese and other things (I don't remember exactly) and enjoyed it! The only "bad" thing is the level of noise which is pretty high but this due to people who are enjoying their meal so it is difficult to decrease it ... Anyway, this restaurant was an excellent experience and we recommend it ;-)"
    Dined on 12/6/2013
  • "Really enjoyed the food here. Nothing too exotic, but nonetheless, a lot of solid dishes on the menu. Loved the soy steak skewers."
    Dined on 11/30/2013
  • "We had been meaning to try Mercado for some time and now that we have, it won't take long to come back. Started with great fresh sour Martguerita, one of the best we've had and a chunky Guacamole that is second to none in a city of great "guac's"The chopped salad of fresh market vegetables was perfect, as were entrees inclsuing Mahi-Mahi with a pineapple salsa and shrimp skewers. Lot's more to try so we'll be back."
    Dined on 11/24/2013
  • "Everything I wrapped my mouth around was a flavor sensation. --Mexican Kale Salad - small in size but huge on flavor- want more! --Skinny Cadillac Margarita on the rocks was so yummy. Mint Lemonade was good too. --Carne Asada - so, so good. And I must make special mention of the corn that came with it. The most amazingly spiced corn I've ever eaten. --Pollo en Salsa de Chipolte my friend said was it was great too. -Stuff to mention... the seating is rather uncomfortable. It was like sitting on a cinderblock for dinner. And it was extremely loud. I felt like I was screaming to converse. Maybe this was just an exceptionally loud evening. But that aside the food was so good I forgive those 2 negatives. I will be back with my peeps in tow! :)"
    Dined on 11/19/2013
  • "Not your typical Mexican fare. Flavours are more urban and refined. Try the Choriqueso as an appetizer - fabulous. The Tacos de Pescado Estilo Baja were fresh and light tasting. An interesting experience."
    Dined on 11/13/2013
  • "I absolutely love this restaurant! They have amazing food and drinks and their wait staff is always extremely pleasant. The guacamole, carnitas, and flan are definitely their best dishes for each course and their Mercado Margarita is to die for! Definitely make reservations if you're going on a Friday or Saturday night. The place gets busy! Also, I called a few days prior to make sure the restaurant knew it was my boyfriend's birthday and the person on the phone said "Great! Consider it done that the flan is on the house!" Such sweet and helpful people that work there! Well, when we got there, the hostess said "Happy anniversary!" instead of "Happy birthday" (which wasn't a big deal). All in all, I recommend Mercado!!!"
    Dined on 11/15/2013
  • "If u order the margarita beware it may be all ice!"
    Dined on 11/14/2013