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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
  • 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
Foodspotting photos
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "Love the place and will come back. Food was amazing and in the right portion. Service was very welcoming and warm. Ambience supports group and couple dining or just hanging out."
    Dined on 8/25/2014
  • "Really enjoyed dinner! Great food, lot's of fun & festive vibe."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "adventurous tastes well served, polite & competent wait staff, high noise level"
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "Extremely!!!!! noisy. Non-comfortable seats at the table. House Margaritas with basically no Tequilla. What more can I say? Oh, very sloppy presentation with the pork sandwich...not able to pick it up off the plate to eat without a mess. We were big fans of La Serenata...this doesn't cut it."
    Dined on 8/24/2014
  • "I reserved a table for 6 for my birthday dinner. I specifically chose Mercado for their happy hour so I was extremely disappointed when the host told us we could not get happy hour prices because we reserved our table through open table. The description on the website needs to be much more clear about reserving through Open Table. After speaking to the manager, Mercado was able to honor the happy hour prices for my group. I was very thankful."
    Dined on 8/23/2014
  • "A good and lively restaurant pretty loud with good food and service"
    Dined on 8/18/2014
  • "Reasonable prices and ample portions were found at this Santa Monica restaurant. Staff was very friendly and efficient. Had a delicious large breakfast burrito and the homemade tortillas were excellent."
    Dined on 8/17/2014
  • "The best I have ever had with both - no lie. Great cocktails, great service as well. Go!"
    Dined on 8/11/2014
  • "We have been going to Mercado since it's fledgling days..LOVED it all...the margaritas, the food and fun atmosphere. But after a year or so, our recent visit was not stellar, like before. One request we ALWAYS make (at least for our dining experience of usually 2 or 3 people) is DON'T RUSH BRINGING THE FOOD OUT! And after requesting that again last night, it was totally ignored. We like to get several small plates...and want to SAVOR them. But again, this is OUR dining preference. If we had a larger group, then yes, bring a few things at a time. Food wise, the tamales usually are fantastic, but this time they were too big, mealy, and rather lacking in flavor. Hope this is just a hiccup of an experience. Dos Gringas are #1."
    Dined on 8/10/2014
  • "We invited another couple to dine with us Friday night at Mercado and all of us were wowed by the overall quality of their food. I've dined here several times before with my girlfriends, and I don't think we've ever been disappointed in this place. I'm pretty sensitive about eating in noisy restaurants and eating at community tables isn't my thing either, so if you're looking for a super quiet place to dine, this probably isn't it because it's a vibrant, atmosphere and their happy hour is usually pretty noisy too. Thankfully, we were able to get a really nice table for the 4 of us that was upstairs, and that suited us perfectly. Their carnitas are amazing, love the jicama salad, and I'm addicted to their skinny margaritas too!"
    Dined on 8/8/2014
  • "These guys are making money hand over fist. Smallish portions of adequately prepared food, weak drinks and high prices. With Border Grill across the street and many other great places in the neighborhood no reason to go back."
    Dined on 8/2/2014
  • "Try anything and you'll love it! Make a reservation to make sure you get a table."
    Dined on 8/1/2014
  • "It was great to have another option for brunch in Santa Monica with a decided Latin flavor. Have been to Mercado several times, but took the opportunity to have brunch with the family. Since brunch is new at this location, it was not as crowded as it usually is for dinner - which was nice as far as I'm concerned because at dinner, it is quite noisy. Also, the atmosphere in the room is quite pleasant in the day time. The food and service is consistently good at Mercado, brunch was no exception. Our (adult) kids really enjoyed it. Glad to see caritas on the brunch menu, as it is one of my favorite dishes. The kale salad was a great alternative to some of the heavier dishes. The ribs were outstanding."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Best guacamole anywhere and fantastic bloody mary's. Great spot for happy hour."
    Dined on 7/27/2014
  • "Have been here several times. This time sat at the bar with a friend and ordered dinner. Service from the bartender was great. I only have one complaint and that is they sometimes over salt their food a bit."
    Dined on 7/24/2014
  • "What's the point of adding notes when nobody cares to acknowledge your special day. I was thinking at the very least a HBD song at this trendy place but nada or a complimentary dessert but nada. The only dishes I can recommend are the carnitas, guacamole dip, ceviche, scallops. I ordered the Carne Asada medium rare but it was more like medium well. I'm a meat eater so that pretty much irked me that on my special day where friends are taking me out for this special occasion that I had a disappointing dish. The manager Glenn Hoiby checked on us at the end when the tab was paid and gave me his card and promised me he'd make it up to us but the damage was done."
    Dined on 7/21/2014
  • "great food and great service.The guacamole was quite tasty and the habanero salsa was spicy. All in all- great spot"
    Dined on 7/19/2014
  • "I could barely hear my date. Food was good. Right by The promenade."
    Dined on 7/18/2014
  • "Well designed and acoustically pleasant, Mercado proved to be quite a dining experience. The food was very fresh and well prepared. I am on a GF diet, and the roasted vegetable omelet was delicious. My only beef was that there was no substitution for the potatoes (other than ordering a side of beans). Most restaurants allow sliced tomatoes or fruit. For people without restrictions, the other choices looked healthful and delicious as well."
    Dined on 7/6/2014
  • "Great flavors, good food but $10 for a small guac & a few chips? Place could be a little more friendly on the wallet."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "the food was great but a tad expensive for what you get and the cocktails were outrageously expensive. I mean, 20 bucks for a carefully measured shot of tequila with some sugary lime juice added to it?? would go back more often if it weren't for the price gouge.."
    Dined on 7/3/2014
  • "Went a group of friend and we had a great time! The food was prepared very well but they can work on the service a little more. It took forever just to get a drink and no one really came by when we needed something. Maybe because we were upstairs on the terrace, but overall it's a great spot!"
    Dined on 6/28/2014
  • "Unbelievable bad service. Waitress ignored us entire time, was rude in every capacity. I had to persuade my girlfriend from complaining to the manager. Most reluctantly I've ever left a tip after a meal. That said, the food was absolutely delicious."
    Dined on 6/20/2014
  • "Beginning with the pleasant greeting from the host to the lovely drinks and food, till we paid and left, the experience was a seamless and delightful brunch experience on Fathers Day. The sangria--fabulous and not too sweet--an adult drink. Carnitas, chilaquiles, huevos rancheros: all expertly prepared and muy delicioso. Only caveat is they have a bunch of those communal tables. They're fine for a group but if you don't want one, be sure to tell them ahead of time when you reserve."
    Dined on 6/15/2014
  • "A great restaurant with very authentic flavors. Fair prices, we just went for the small plates this time but we are definitely coming back to try the rest of the menu"
    Dined on 6/14/2014
  • "I made an 8:00 reservation, and showed up about 10 minutes late. The hostess informed me that they seat people in the order they arrive, which defeats the purpose of a reservation. Around 8:25 I complained to the manager, who apologized and promised to get us seated right away. He then provided chips and guacamole and dessert on the house; except the waitress tried to charge me for the chips and guacamole. The food however is outstanding. We ordered the fish tacos, tamales, and chicken mole enchiladas. The enchiladas really stood out, and I'm not generally a mole fan. If you're concerned with time or getting good service, I'd stay away, but the food makes it worth the problems."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Really good gourmet Mexican food and unusual Margueritas with peppers - so delicious. I've been here a few times and prefer lunch time because it gets crowded and noisy at night. (But some people like that.) If you go during the dinner hour and want to be away from the fray ask to be seated in one of the few tables upstairs."
    Dined on 6/11/2014
  • "Service is fantastic with the friendliest staff and food keeps me craving to come back. I love the corn, tacos, Best ceviche in town!"
    Dined on 6/3/2014
  • "I started with the dip duo which came with amazing guacamole but my favorite was the quesorizo it has pieces of chorizo in it but it wasn't too spicy. This dish was my favorite part of the meal. We ordered a few tapas which was perfect. My other favorite was the shrimp with ciabatta bread. The flan was a great dessert choice as well. Great meal overall and I would definitely recommend this to a friend. "
    Dined on 6/2/2014
  • "We were looking for a place to go after a gallery opening in the area and a friend recommended this place. Best upscale Mexican food in L.A.!! Everything was lick the place delicious, the pineapple cilantro margarita is heaven…and from the guacamole to the the flan we all had a big smile! The excellent service added to the whole experience. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "Yummy yummy food. Very unique Mexican and well worth the visit. Upon arriving hostess did not have our res even though they called earlier in the day to confirm and I called back to confirm. Situation saved by savvy waitress but a little annoying. Food made up for it. "
    Dined on 5/31/2014
  • "I always get the carnitas, which is excellent. Great place to go after a movie. Easy reservations with Open Table."
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "Creative and flavorful comes to mind. Plus, our waiter was very knowledgeable about each food item and and expert on the tequila...ask for Benjamin's table. "
    Dined on 5/17/2014
  • "I have eaten here several times and have always loved the food and the dining experience at the other night was no exception. The service is great, the food exceptional. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. They have a selection of Tequila that is incredible, so a lot of fun if you just want to drink. "
    Dined on 5/16/2014
  • "I have been to Mercado a few times and everything was great and decided to take my parents there for mother's day. They loved it!"
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "My wife had the Egg and Chorizo Torta and I had the Carnitas Torta and they were off the hook!!! We also shared a cup of Pozole and the flavor was authentic, however, portion size is on the weak side. The cup of Pozole was barely half full with about 1 large ladle. Service was mediocre at best. Waiter was attentive, but just no energy in the staff. Host didn't even greet me or smiled when I entered. Everyone seemed tired."
    Dined on 5/11/2014
  • "I made reservations at this place after having eaten at the one on 3rd Street in LA. The atmosphere was very similar, but much louder and more difficult to carry conversations. Overall though, the drinks were good and the food was enjoyable. We were a group of three that shared the small plates which is actually good option for two, but a bit pricey for three since you have to purchase another taco ala carte. I would recommend this place if you happen to be in the area, but won't go out of my way to come here. "
    Dined on 5/10/2014
  • "We love this's place and had the good fortune to meet Jesse the owner . Every dish pops in your mouth. The flavors are unbelievable ! We has the ceviche anathema pastor. Taste the flan! It's yo die!"
    Dined on 5/3/2014
  • "Upon arrival we were greated by the manager and treated to a free appetizer and dessert since it was our first time dining at this restaurant. The food was excellent! I strongly urge foodies who love Mexican to give it a go."
    Dined on 4/28/2014
  • "Nice evening, not your conventional Mexican restaurant or food."
    Dined on 4/26/2014