Mercado - Santa Monica
1416 4th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401Neighborhood:
MexicanPrice: $30 and under
Mercado - Santa Monica
- Dining Style: Casual Dining
- Website: http://www.mercadosantamonica.com/
- Phone: 3105267121
- 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)
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 photosSee all photos
Awards voted by OpenTable diners
- Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
- Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Mercado - Santa Monica - Best Restaurants in Santa Monica ›
Mercado - Santa Monica reviews from OpenTable diners
111 reviews since May 5, 2014
- Ambiance4.1Noise LevelEnergetic
fit for foodies (59)neighborhood gem (42)good for groups (41)hot spot (38)vibrant bar scene (26)special occasion (23)great for brunch (18)great for lunch (13)romantic (10)late-night find (8)kid-friendly (5)notable wine list (2)Show More
- Traditional Mexican with a twistOpenTable Diner Since 2012Dined on 8/31/2014Really good food but upstairs dining area is awful, it's hot and cramped. Nice bar and great drinks.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Unassuming but great findMemaDined on 8/28/2014We were looking for Mexican food and wanted something new and different. This was a great find. My only suggestion is if you do not like spicy food, get all the sauces on the side since my level of spicy is very different then the restaurants. I am pretty whimpy when it comes to spicy and the waitress said that the spice level was not that high. After my mouth was burning, I realized that that I should have had the sauces on the side so I could evaluate it for myself.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Great for group hangoutVee2dineDined on 8/25/2014Love 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- OpenTable Diner Since 2009Dined on 8/24/2014Really enjoyed dinner! Great food, lot's of fun & festive vibe.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- guestguestDined on 8/24/2014adventurous tastes well served, polite & competent wait staff, high noise levelSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ReviewOpenTable Diner Since 2008Dined on 8/24/2014Extremely!!!!! 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.
- lovefoodDined on 8/24/2014I tried it because I had a BBE coupon but I wouldn't go back. Can get better cheaper latino food elsewhere.
- AccomidatingdabeyDined on 8/23/2014I 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.
- Loved the placeJohnboyabzDined on 8/18/2014A good and lively restaurant pretty loud with good food and serviceSpecial Features:
- Brunch at MercadoSandyjkVIPDined on 8/17/2014Reasonable 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.Special Features:
- Canitas & Flan Heaven!JenRecommendsVIPDined on 8/11/2014The best I have ever had with both - no lie. Great cocktails, great service as well. Go!Special Features:
- Slipping?TabascoGurlDined on 8/10/2014We 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Mercado is definitely in my top 5MomoDined on 8/8/2014We 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Rip offEaterVIPDined on 8/2/2014These 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.Special Features:
- excellent food!FantasticDined on 8/1/2014Try anything and you'll love it! Make a reservation to make sure you get a table.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Sunday Brunch - newly addedDiscerningDinerVIPDined on 7/27/2014It 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.Special Features:
- Drinks & Appetizers are great!!MinaDined on 7/27/2014Best guacamole anywhere and fantastic bloody mary's. Great spot for happy hour.Special Features:
- Great for drinks, apps and dinnerLspOTDined on 7/24/2014Have 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.I would recommend this to a friend.
- Happy birthday to me didn't happenFoodFoodFoodDined on 7/21/2014What'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.Special Features:
- OpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 7/19/2014great food and great service.The guacamole was quite tasty and the habanero salsa was spicy. All in all- great spotSpecial Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Good location, but loudVfr292Dined on 7/18/2014I could barely hear my date. Food was good. Right by The promenade.Special Features:
- Food4ThoughtDined on 7/6/2014Well 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.Special Features:
- good food, a little pricey thoughNateDined on 7/3/2014Great flavors, good food but $10 for a small guac & a few chips? Place could be a little more friendly on the wallet.Special Features:
- delicious but expensivejred23Dined on 7/3/2014the 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..Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- Yum!NG923Dined on 6/28/2014Went 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- servicechrisDined on 6/20/2014Unbelievable 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.Special Features:
- A Polished and Delicious BrunchsherraeDined on 6/15/2014Beginning 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- GroovkeissDined on 6/14/2014A 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 menuSpecial Features:
- Great Food, Mixed ServiceMikeVIPDined on 6/11/2014I 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.
- Great ServiceSoCalShariheresince1978Dined on 6/11/2014Really 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.Special Features:
- I always love this treasure!AKFHDined on 6/3/2014Service is fantastic with the friendliest staff and food keeps me craving to come back. I love the corn, tacos, Best ceviche in town!Special Features:
- Amazing foodNycfoodie44VIPDined on 6/2/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Outstandingfood4soulDined on 5/31/2014We 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.Special Features:
- Will go againOpenTable Diner Since 2013VIPDined on 5/31/2014Yummy 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- CarnitasjcraissDined on 5/17/2014I always get the carnitas, which is excellent. Great place to go after a movie. Easy reservations with Open Table.Special Features:
- If you want authentic and creative.MJBjrDined on 5/17/2014Creative 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.Special Features:
- mercado restaurantOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/16/2014I 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.Special Features:
- Fun mother's day!NooshDined on 5/11/2014I 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!Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- ScrumptiousOpenTable Diner Since 2014Dined on 5/11/2014My 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.Special Features:
- enjoyed the atmosphereOpenTable Diner Since 2011Dined on 5/10/2014I 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.Special Features:I would recommend this to a friend.
- The following 362 reviews are from the Mercado - Santa Monica reviews archive.