Mercado - Santa Monica

4.5
999 Reviews
$30 and under
Mexican

About

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!
What 999 people are sayingWrite a review
Overall ratings and reviews
4.5based on all time ratings
4.5
food
4.3
service
4.2
ambience
4.1
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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p
vippandc
Los Angeles
53 reviews
Reviewed on November 17, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Best Mexican restaurant in LA. Actually, one of my favorite restaurants of any kind. It's popular so can get loud, but the food is consistently excellent. I especially like their scallops and grilled fish. Guac is wonderful to start. Highly recommend.

TM
TempleM
Los Angeles
9 reviews
Reviewed on November 11, 2019
Overall1foodserviceambience

Wow, very disappointing. High prices, mediocre food. Meh.

MM
MaggieM
Los Angeles
3 reviews
Reviewed on September 30, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Great food and cocktails. Can be a touch loud and over packed.

J
vipJake
Los Angeles
100 reviews
Reviewed on August 19, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

The original restaurant of the chain started in 2012, Mercado continues to deliver with upscale Mexican dishes that use high-quality ingredients such as scallops and fresh fish to transform mexican staples into palate-pleasing items. The tres leches cake and churros ice cream were superb, and the service was top-rate, professional, and intuitive. Will look forward to returning here.

DH
DavidH
San Francisco
3 reviews
Reviewed on June 25, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

This is a nice place with good food. I would recommend it to try.

FB
FatBob
Charlotte
16 reviews
Reviewed on June 5, 2019
Overall5foodserviceambience

Great meal and service. Very authentic, check it out.

FF
vipFaithFamilyFood
Los Angeles
27 reviews
Reviewed on June 2, 2019
Overall4foodserviceambience

Quite impressed with the menu and kitchen execution..

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience4

There was hair in my food - they blamed it on me and didn’t take it off of the bill. They did give me another meal though and it was very good.

A
Andrea
Denver
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

One of my new favorite restaurants! I've been back twice in the past month.

FL
vipFoodLovingFamily
San Francisco
13 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience4

A fun and vibrant environment and we loved the food. Carne asada, fish tacos, carnitas tamales & steak tacos all enjoyed. The flan was a great end to the meal. I wish I could recall our server's name, he was very friendly and efficient. We were traveling, but I wish Mercado was closer to home for us. Hope to visit again one day!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Nashville
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall3food2service2ambience3

Normally we usually have a great experience at Mercado however we would never recommend for someone to go here on NYE. We made a reservation for 9pm for 2 people thinking that it would be a perfect spot to get a great meal and a couple margaritas before heading home to celebrate the New Year. We were sat promptly and had a really nice server wait on us. At no time however we were told that they were closing at 10pm and there was a last call for drinks soon after being seated. We felt rushed through the entire dinner and when ordering a second round of drinks were told "I'll see if they get accepted by the bar" (again, no mention of a last call ever). We always order the carnitas but they were out so settled with the steak instead. It unfortunately was unappetizing and very chewy. Sadly we are SO disappointed with this experience as we frequently visit this spot at least 1-2 a month and it's usually a favorite of ours. We did speak with the manager and he was accommodating however the situation did leave us feeling disappointed about our choice to have NYE dinner here. I honestly think they were just trying to close up and get out of there before midnight but didn't communicate this with their guests being seated an hour before their regular closing time. Because the tables are so close to each other in the restaurant both couples on either side of us also shared their frustrations about the service and lack of communication. I hope that this was a one-off experience because we do plan on going back again on a normal night. I highly recommend getting the carnitas, elote and the Mercado margarita - these are usually a sure thing!

SC
SusanC
Los Angeles
12 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall4food3service5ambience4

The Mahi Mahi was perfect. Sadly, the rice was undercooked and cold, and the veggies were cold. However, the guacamole was great. The Mercado margarita was great. So, overall, we had a nice time. Will be back to try Happy Hour

s
sherryr
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The manager Glenn is a gem!! Always there to make sure your meal is delicious! Makes everyone feel welcome! Always a treat! Can’t wait to go back!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on December 30, 2018
Overall3food3service5ambience5

Food was good. However, it seems like they were having an off night. My boyfriend ordered the chicken enchiladas only to discover that when he cut into it, there was a large wishbone that the kitchen had left in. One order of tacos and the elote took a while to come or the table, but the staff was very prudent, making sure we were okay and informing us that the food would come soon s The service was great and the waitress was very accommodating. They compensated the enchiladas at the end, which I think was the appropriate thing to do. I will definitely come back as the ambience was very inviting and intimate. I think they were just having an “off-night”.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Nice atmosphere.
Everything are tasty. All of my party love that place.

MJ
MarkJ
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall4food3service4ambience5

Love the atmosphere. What a cool place to have dinner! Unfortunately, the food disappoints. While upscale in presentation, the flavors just run mediocre and lack any complexity

JS
JinSantaMonica
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall4food4service3ambience3

We were seated at a table upstairs in the back.
Benefit: not as noisy as downstairs
Drawback: I think our waitress forgot about us.

M
Mary90265
1 review
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great vibe, awesome service! Good place to meet friends for margaritas and food! Had the pineapple marg—was excellent. Fun place to go!

p
peggyr
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best place in town. Service is amazing and so is the food. Can't go wrong. Fantastic all around.

KM
vipKMorgan
Los Angeles
10 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Very good happy hour menu. Margaritas were excellent for the price and the food was delicious though not the healthiest. Good for when you are feeling gluttonous :-)

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Calgary
1 review
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food. Great service.

EH
EchoH
Los Angeles
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious and seasoned! A different take on your traditional Mexican. I’m a addict.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Order the cucumber jalapeño margarita with tajin on the rim and the carnitas plate ...my personal favorites.

P
Pris
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 10, 2018
Overall2food3service3ambience2

I was super disappointed when I arrived my BF and I were seated at a communial tabled which we were not told or given an option when booking . The restaurant felt disjointed and the best seats seemed to be upstairs which we were definitely not getting as an option. The food was good but overpriced for what it was as were the drinks. Through the course of our dinner we had 4 different servers , so no one was constant in looking after our table. My BF’s glass was chipped so I asked for another drink , then asked again that they actually make a new drink for fear glass may have fallen in the previous drink wouldn’t that be the protocol? I’ve been wanting to go try this place for a while but won’t go back . Servers were friendly .

JB
JamesB
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall4food5service3ambience5

Food was excellent. The Carnitas is beyond expectations. Service was a little spotty however, we were on the later side for dinner 10pm and the manager was more than apologetic for any minor issues we had with service.
We going back as soon as we can!

c
crystalj
Charlotte
3 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Sat at the community table and it was amazing. Food was great!!!

YG
YoliG
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Manager and waitress were great.
Very good food and delicious margaritas.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Denver
11 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2018
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Great guacamole and Chile Rellanos. Good vegetarian experience, and lovely wait staff.

KL
KevinL
1 review
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Mercado is one of my favorite spots in Santa Monica. The food is excellent. It can be a bit noisy, so if you can't stand noise I would avoid. Otherwise, an amazing spot.

f
vipfoodforthought
Los Angeles
68 reviews
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT!
The Family Recipe's take this Menu into an authentic experience.
When You can remember the first taste of the Dip Duo to last last taste of Carne Asada, or Camaroines Al Ajillo, Mexican Sweet Shrimp, Chile de árbol garlic butter. Out Of this World!
Mercado Restaurants have a great reputation for being consistent, no matter which location.

A
vipArcher
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2018
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Great flavors—boisterous and colorful.

AW
AlisonW
Warwickshire
7 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had the Mahi Mahi special which was delicious. Place was buzzing for a Wednesday night. Mexican with a twist. Very good indeed.

K
Krisha
Detroit
6 reviews
Dined on October 6, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We found Mercado by chance and glad we did! There were 4 in our party. We ordered Jicama Shrimp Tacos, Tostaditos de Ceviche, Camarones Al Ajillo, and Enchiladas de Pollo. All excellent. Fresh and local, yes please!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall4food4service2ambience4

Food was great, but service is disappointing during each visit.

LL
LucyL
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Mercado never lets me down, great food, tasty drinks and amazing service.

o
orpheus
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We last ate here 7 years ago and it lived up to the memory this past time.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall5food5service3ambience3

It was so goooood

A
vipAri21
Los Angeles
8 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our waitress was a dream. We had to split the check 5 ways using Cards and Cash. She was very accommodating!

OT
OpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 13, 2018
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great spot for scratch kitchen authentic-tasting Mexican food. Drinks and dessert menu is also on point; spicy and sweet. Highly recommend.

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Hawaii
1 review
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall3food3service2ambience4

The waitress touched me and never gave me my
Habanero salsa

FAQs

Mercado - Santa Monica does offer delivery in partnership with Caviar.

Mercado - Santa Monica is rated 4.5 stars by 999 OpenTable diners.