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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
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Awards voted by OpenTable diners
  • Diners' Choice WinnerMexican
  • Diners' Choice WinnerHot Spot
Diner Reviews
  • "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
  • "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 always get the carnitas, which is excellent. Great place to go after a movie. Easy reservations with Open 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
  • "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 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
  • "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
  • "With a reservation didnt get seated for a 1/2 hour. Drinks took very long to come out - food was arriving and still no drinks. Then 2 come out then finally the other 2. One person in our party got no food while all the rest of us had received at least one of our selections. The birthday girl's scallops were practically raw. By the time they were brought back out everyone else had finished their food. They did give complimentary desert but didnt let her pick just brought something out. Ambience is nothing special, crazy loud. Food was very good but so many better options with all the negatives. "
    Dined on 4/25/2014
  • "The food, ambience and service were all beyond my expectations. Needless to say, I really enjoyed dining there and would highly recommend this restaurant!"
    Dined on 4/14/2014
  • "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