Hopefully the curse has worn off
This location has long time had a restaurant curse and there has been lots of churn. Layout is the same as last occupants, with a brick whitewashing of the exterior. Way too many community tables, which leaves few for more intimate date night dinners. On a positive note, the food was excellent. We were there on public opening night, Wednesday, the ratio of diners to wait staff was heavily skewed to wait staff, but likely still training and wanting to make a good service impression. Walking distance for us which is great, valet parking would be better served in the alley to keep traffic flowing on 3rd street...pick should also be in the alley...this was frentic and quite hazardous. Will come back and try again.
9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
We loved our food and drinks. Try it and you will too.
9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
My family and I enjoyed our dinner very much. We're familiar with the other sister restaurants so we knew what to expect. I love the fact that I don't have to drive all the way to Santa Monica or DTLA to enjoy a Jamica Margarita and juicy carnitas. The wait staff was very attentive. We enjoyed being served by Alex, a very polite young man. I can't wait to go back. We were a little disappointed that they did not have a "Happy Hour".
9/5/2013 12:00:00 AM
Happy addition to the neighborhood
My husband and I enjoyed our dinner at Mercado this past Saturday evening. We sat in the front which is open and feels like you're sitting outside. Margarita was great and the food was interesting and tasty. Not your standard Mexican fare. We'll definitely go back.
9/6/2013 5:00:00 PM
So glad it's in my neighborhood!
Loved the location in Santa Monica - now love this one. We went a week after they opened, and they were already well outfitted for our great dinner. Our server (Ruben maybe?) was awesome - drinks were great. Dip Duo is insanely good. All fantastic. Had a great time and looking forward to going back.
9/11/2013 5:00:00 PM
this has a modern mexican - gastropub feel!!! Food was excellent...specialty cocktails are all tequila based - was never a big tequila person but the New Fashion drink was still pretty good...everything was great, good flavors in the food, easy to share, def a great find..
9/12/2013 12:00:00 AM
Mercado overall was very good
Mercado overall was very good -- the food was insane: chips and salsa + guacamole to die for. We got the carnitas which were delicious because of all the sauces and other things on the dish but the actual meat itself was a little dry. The carne asada on the other hand was incredible. Another MUST order is the corn! I was dreaming about it all weekend. Waiter was slow (we had to ask for extra salsa three times) but very nice. Another con is the group seating -- to me premium price = a certain degree of privacy which we did not have with the bratty girls sitting next to us. Either way I will definitely be back.
9/12/2013 5:00:00 PM
Mercado 3rd and Fairfax!
My partner and I went to our anniversary dinner there and it was absolutely amazing. Food and service was on point. Will defiantly be coming.
9/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
Upscale Mexican near the Grove
Went to Mercado for happy hour. Enjoyed a margarita and a couple small plates, which were tasty and generously portioned. Bartender was attentive and friendly. Great spot to meet up for drinks.
9/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
Mercado on Third Street is a great addition to the neighborhood. The main dining space is open and airy, and there are a couple other rooms that are darker and more cozy. The creative Mexican food was delicious. Getting a few small plates won't break the bank but the main dishes are slightly pricey for Mexican, but they're like nothing quite like anything you've tasted before.
9/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
Food, service, and ambience
Food, service, and ambience were all wonderful! Truly enjoyed the indoor/outdoor ambiance.
9/25/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great service, great food, great cocktails and wine. The room is nice and open, and modern but warm-- with several different areas. Loved it. Will be going back. Highly recommended on all levels.
9/26/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything we had was delicious
Everything we had was delicious and the service was amazing. Every one we came in contact with was absolutely delightful. Food was beyond delicious, even my non-red meat eating husband was devouring the plate of carne asada! The food came out very fast and the plates were cleared fast all while not feeling rushed. Cannot wait to go back!
9/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
Delicious Mexican Cuisine
The food is absolutely delightful. The Carnitas are a must as well as any of the hand-made margaritas. Everything is favorite as it is my grandmother's home cooking on steroids (in a very awesome way).
10/6/2013 12:00:00 AM
I was super impressed!
I had a guest in town for the weekend and we visited Mercado for dinner Friday evening. They seated us promptly (we had reservations) and from there everything was just fabulous! The ambiance was great (upbeat, but you can still carry on a convo), our waitress was very cool and attentive, the food and drinks were AMAZING (house margarita, sangria, dip duo, carne asada & carnitas) and a special mention goes to "the best flan in the universe." This was the quote on the mirror in the corner and I thought, "Yeah freakin' right," but people ... you would do yourself an injustice if you didn't try this!!!! My friend and I aren't even flan fans and they made us believers. I loved this place and would surely go again and again. You likely will too.
10/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
My new favorite restaurant
I went to Mercado last night with a friend of mine who lives in the neighborhood. He told me how great it was and I was not disappointed. I had the Beef Skewer with Ginger - delectable! The Guacamole was great and came with fresh chips. The Flan was amazing! I also thought that Flan was bland, but Mercado's Flan is one of my favorite desserts. The staff is super-friendly, helpful and efficient. I'm definitely going back soon!
10/17/2013 12:00:00 AM
Great food - interesting menu,
Great food - interesting menu, reasonable prices - very noisy and a bit cold due to open windows. Try for a non-shared table. Finally something local to replace the missed Sonora Café.
10/19/2013 12:00:00 AM
Amazing food and drinks
This is a definite must try restaurant if you haven't been. All of the food items were outstanding and the service was impeccable. Highly recommend it.
10/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
It was a fun night and the place was fun and busy.
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
All around awesome.
Food was really interesting and delicious, service was fast and, best of all, the beer was cold. Great place for a group dinner.
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
Everything about the food is worth the visit and the service was good enough. But, I indicated that we were celebrating a couple of birthdays and they put us at a communal table, instead of a booth. That was not at all special.
11/2/2013 12:00:00 AM
We'll be back :)
Went for dinner on a Saturday evening and had a very nice time. The service was great, the food was delicious and the the cucumber/spicy margarita I had was soooo good. The ambiance is great too though, for my taste, I would rather not see the two flat screen tvs at the bar and would have enjoyed hearing some cool tunes instead.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great Food & Service
Server was on it. Drinks were $10 which I think is reasonably priced in this part of town. Awesome traditional margaritas. My husband and I shared a grilled corn (small plate), fish tacos (small plate) and the carnitas (entree portion) Definitely enough food for 2 people. Also had the most amazing flan ever. Food was like $50 which is super affordable for arestaurant of this quality.
11/8/2013 4:00:00 PM
Our waiter was very attentive.
Our waiter was very attentive. Music is too loud and lighting is very dark.
11/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
we had been to santa monica
we had been to santa monica location so happy to see food was just as good at 2nd location. this is a huge space! will definately consider it for a large group- loved the open window in the bar area. Service was good but overattentive. felt pressured to order/eat faster. i like having plates cleared so quickly but not the second i put the fork down. made a very casual night feel somewhat stressed even though the restaurant was less than 1/2 full.
11/9/2013 4:00:00 PM
I went to Mercado for my birthday with a few friends. The food was great and the service was wonderful. We ordered quite a few small plates to share and the only issue I had was that they all came out at the same time and there was no place on the table to put them. I would suggest that next time they could consolidate some of the multiples of food so there are less plates or space the delivery a bit more consciously. Other than that a wonderful experience and will return again.
11/10/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great overall experience
The friendly staff, lovely decor, fun crowd, and tasty food and drink all made this a very solid experience. I'm definitely coming back! PS - Try the shrimp taco small plate!
11/13/2013 4:00:00 PM
Food here is sooo good! Tamales
Food here is sooo good! Tamales were to die for and the spicy jalapeño and cucumber margarita was amazing!
11/15/2013 4:00:00 PM
Mercado is great--the food is so fresh, service is quick and attentive, margaritas are good. Everyone is so friendly, always smiling...Just a great spot for any occasion.
11/18/2013 4:00:00 PM
Good food and generally a
Good food and generally a fun restaurant, you can sit at community tables which is different/fun for a late dinner.
11/21/2013 4:00:00 PM
Delicious, new neighborhood "go-to"
Loved the food, especially the carnitas and the fish tacos. Can't wait to go back.
11/23/2013 4:00:00 PM
Great last night in LA
We had a fun meal at Mercado on our last night in LA. The drinks are definitely a must try. There are some unusual combinations with tequila or mezcal that are pretty nice. The guacamole is excellent and so fresh! We enjoyed the chopped salad and tamales. The side of mixed vegetables was a big hit. But the star of the night(after the guacamole) was the elote(roasted corn). This will be on our must return list.
11/28/2013 4:00:00 PM
"Trexican" Trendy Mexican place
I don't think you need to be Mexican or an LA native to know that Mercado is not the most traditional Mexican food you'll ever have. Nor is it the least expensive and certainly not generous in its portions. It's as if the French wanted to open a place but only had Mexican ingredients.
But the fare at Mercado is much better than fair. It's quite delicious, unique, and satisfying. A change of pace when you want Mexican sans the food coma. The guacamole was fresh and well seasoned served with chips that could withstand the pressure. The soft chicken tacos were small, put tasty, and just different enough as were the special tuna tostadas. The drinks too are upscale and a twist on the typical. Try La Nina. And the flan is a winner.
11/30/2013 4:00:00 PM