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Permanently Closed - Border Grill - Santa Monica

1412 reviews
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$30 and under
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Top Tags:
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for Groups
  • Neighborhood Gem

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This restaurant is permanently closed.

Border Grill in Santa Monica serves gourmet Mexican fare with classic French cooking techniques for lunch and dinner as well as weekend brunch. Guests love the truly authentic Latin flavors, inspired by street vendors and home chefs rather than fine dining establishments south of the border.

The menu at Border Grill includes green corn tamales, brisket taquitos, seasonal vegetable chilaquiles and Yucatan pork slow roasted in banana leaves. Brunch might include pumpkin tamales or quinoa fritters. The Border Grill uses organic rice and beans as well as humane certified, hormone-free meats. Seasonal ingredients take center stage on the menu, which features gluten-free and vegetarian options as well.

Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Mexican, Contemporary Mexican, Latin American
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Hours of operation

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Phone number
(310) 451-1655
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Chef/Owners: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken
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Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”, have been entertaining guests for more than 25 years at their popular, critically-acclaimed restaurants. Now you can bring their unique style and expertise to your next event.

Choose from a mix of modern, bold flavors with menus from Border Grill and Border Grill Truck, as well as the cosmopolitan flavors of Mary Sue and Susan’s first restaurant CITY.

Call today for an unforgettable party! 213.486.5171
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Special events & promotions
For special event details on everything from cooking classes to margarita tasting dinners, go to
What 1412 People Are SayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
3.9  based on all time ratings
Noise · Moderate
85% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NancyH (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on October 8, 2016

We are going to miss having this wonderful restaurant and the amazing Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken in Santa Monica. Wishing them best of all possible luck in their future endeavors.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on October 6, 2016

Unfortunately, this much beloved restaurant is closing today. The wait staff, the chefs and bartenders, my friend and I could barely keep from crying.

OpenTable Diner (San Diego)
2.0  Dined on October 2, 2016

We had a 11:30 reservation for Sunday brunch.
The AC was broken. No ice for drinks or mimosa.
We ordered and food came 45 mins later.
No compensation for late food, warm drinks and no AC.
Kitchen did their job. Management didn't.
Asked waiter several times when food was coming and his response "I have no idea!" What on earth are we tipping him for?

Macbry (Orange County)
5.0  Dined on October 1, 2016

We love this place. Gonna miss it!

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 30, 2016

Even though these are the last few days of the Border Grill, you would never know. The service, the food, the Professionalism of the wait staff and the Margaritas were top notch. Everyone at the restaurant including patrons were there to have a good time and to me ... to relive the memories of the old Border Grill. The Friday night I went on was packed, but festive.
The guacamole and green corn tamales hit the mark, as did the chicken toastadas and enchiladas. The best part of the evening was when our dessert of churro tots were personally delivered by Susan Feniger herself, wow, I was surprised and enjoyed our short conversation. It sounds like Susan and Mary Sue are ready for their next adventure and I personally cant wait to try their new restaurant creation. Cheers to you both, for giving LA the best Mexican food, but more important than that ...a fun place to have a bite and a great Margarita!!Thanks for the memories.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 28, 2016

So sad to see the Border Grill close. It's been a favorite for years.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on September 27, 2016

Great but no AC on a 95 degree los angeles day, would have been nice to know before hand.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 25, 2016

Very good service and the food was excellent. Nice location in Santa Monica.

Tryingnew (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 24, 2016

Hadn't been to Border Grill since it first opened on Melrose in the 80's. I moved to Valley so wasn't close anymore. But heard the Santa Monica restaurant was closing soon which got me there. It was the best Mexican food I've ever had....guacamole, fish tacos, chicken quesadilla, and churro tots! I highly recommend before it's gone.

OpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
1.0  Dined on September 19, 2016

Had a reservation. Showed up. Restaurant was closed with a sign saying, private event tonight. Weak sauce.

Goodfood (Washington DC)
4.0  Dined on September 18, 2016

Sorry to see Border Grill close in Santa Monica. The food is excellent and the ambiance is great.

vipOpenTable Diner (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on September 18, 2016

Hostess is rude but food and servers were great

vipGrannyk (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 18, 2016

The food was wonderful as usual. The service was excellent. This was a farewell to the restaurant dinner. We will miss having dinner here.

Tastebuz (Los Angeles)
4.0  Dined on September 17, 2016

We went to Border Grill because we heard it was closing! We've always loved the food and the service. The chicken tacos with wild mushrooms were fabulous as was the Baja ceviche and the Margaritas. This place has been around 25 years and they never just phone it in. Always interesting pan-Latin items on the menu. Even the noise level has come down.

I hope they surface someplace else soon.

gwswartz (Philadelphia)
5.0  Dined on September 10, 2016

One of my all time favorites. Heard that it's closing (SM location only), and I'm so sad. So many great memories there. And the food is always exquisite.

vipOpenTable Diner (New York Area)
1.0  Dined on September 9, 2016

This place was awful!!!!! The chicken enchiladas came out empty w no chicken (yet bones in it!). They were returned and came back the same way again. Never go here!

vipNoni (Los Angeles)
5.0  Dined on September 5, 2016

Yummy food. Great selection of salsa. Tasty dishes!!

vipNukeleon (Los Angeles)
3.0  Dined on September 3, 2016

Heard that this once innovative star would be closing in a month or two and happened to be in the area, so we stopped by to say goodbye. Border Grill was groundbreaking but now there are plenty of authentic, creative Latin American restaurants and that leaves Border Grill seeming mundane and routine.
They still dole out chips and salsa here, a practice is disappearing these days. The chips were hot and fresh and the variety of salsas was wonderful. We passed on cocktails and instead had Jamaica and Pomegranate Lemonade. Unfortunately they probably put more effort into the more profitable cocktails. The jamaica was watery, and the lemonade pale in color and pomegranate flavor.
Unfortuantely, they sold the last carnitas pork shank, so settled for the exciting skirt steak. My date had the pork in achiote sauce, which was awesome. The sauce was citrusy and complexly flavorful.
The waiter made the effort to make up for the pork shank and gave us free green corn tamales. They were extraordinary. The second best tamales I've ever had (lamb neck tamales at Broken Spanish are #1) . It was a great move by the waiter.
Border Grill seems to have lost some its creative spark, but there's still quality there. The competition is plentiful from mom and pop Mexican restaurants with pedigreed chefs. When Mary Sue and Susan reopen elsewhere, let's hope they will once again be the inspirational pair they were when BG opened 27 years ago.

vipSamPetersOnTheTown (Los Angeles)
2.0  Dined on August 29, 2016

This is a favorite place. Disappointed that they took our reservation for 130-- then kicked everyone out at 2! They were closing for 2 hours! Got the bums rush.

LaSirenaGorda (San Diego)
4.0  Dined on August 27, 2016

A good selection of tequila, and combo drinks! Food was quite tasty and the Services was exceptional!