Nearby points of interest
Nearby points of interest
About 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!
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Wednesday: 5pm - 10pm, Thursday & Friday: 5pm - 11pm, Saturday: 4pm - 11pm, Sunday: Brunch 11:00am - 3pm, Dinner 4:00pm - 10pm
$30 and under
Parking Structure 5 is closest to the restaurant.
Bar Dining, Beer, BYO Wine, Corkage Fee, Full Bar, Late Night, Non-Smoking
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Mercado - Santa Monica Ratings and Reviews
This was the second time my husband and I ate there. We invited friends to join us. We were very disappointed. We had a reservation and we still had to walk around the block for 20 minutes until an appropriate table was available. The service was lame and the food mediocre. Maybe the difference was that the first time we ate there it was on a Sunday night, and this was a Saturday night. I don't know...but I can't recommend the restaurant.
Great as always drink and food. Their flan is out of this world good. That said, I did a reservation for this evening (ie 17Nov2017) and I get a call a few minutes ago that I may or may not be able to get a seat at the bar for my reservation this evening. I then question it and I get attitude back from the guy on the phone. Wtf did I make a reservation for? I dearly love this place but I don't know if I'll ever be back after this bs..... BAD form mercado, bad form....
The food was amazing!!!!! Get there at opening 5pm, happy hour is 5-7. The tamales are to die for and the passionfruit margarita is unbelievable. The owner came by to talk to me and my wife and to see how it was for us....great guy!!! Mercado is a must when in Santa Monica.
Mercado has a lively and young scene. This is definitely a "date night" restaurant. Nearly everything we ordered was quite tasty -- the shrimp tacos especially, but the fish tacos less so. The hostess told us that the guacamole was considered to be the best in the city, and indeed, it was terrific. Most of the dishes on the menu have a sophisticated preparation with high-end ingredients. Definitely a cut well above typical Mexican restaurants. If you are hungry for a particular classic mexican dish though, this isn't the place.
The one area in which I didn't give Mercado a great rating is value. We ordered a few starter dishes, a salad, & one beer. When the bill came it just didn't feel like we had gotten quite enough for the money. Given that people don't really come here for the value however, this is a minor point.
I always want to like the food more than I actually do. The guacamole is funky - they add extra, odd ingredients, such as pepitas, which are off-putting. The house margarita is almost flavorless and served in a tiny glass full of ice. Two sips and it's gone. The carne asada - I give up. It's rubbery to the point that it is practically inedible. Gristly, hard to cut. I'm just done with it. My kids always want to go there (not sure why). I could always talk them into Border Grill across the street instead (far better food), but sadly it's now gone. Looking for a new Mexican/southwestern go-to place.
Absolutely amazing food. We just ordered appetizers and every one was beyond comparison. Corn, ceviche, pastor tacos, steak tacos and pork tamales were all fantastic. Only knock down a star for service as drinks were very slow: we got 2 apps before our 2 drinks and we had to ask twice for water.
I really think that this restaurant needs a new menu because there are so few options for the entrées and since this is a Mexican restaurant, it should've had more options for the entrée portion of the menu. I was thoroughly disappointed with my Chicken enchiladas. there was no flavor throughout the plate. the sauce they have on top was virtually tasteless, the rice was undercooked and the rest of the dish was taste-wise mundane. The service however was great. Our waitress was kind and very attentive. They were able to accommodate my friend seat wise and I found that to be a key factor in our night. I think overall, for the price, the food needs to be twice as good as it is now. The service was perfect, and the ambience is perfect it's just the food that I found unsatisfactory.
Despite having made a reservation, it took us 30 minutes to be seated (at table unfit to acomodate our 2 year-old daughter). And there was also this awkward moment: we were still having our starters when the main course arrived. As the waiter didn't seem to know what to do, he simply left me holding a plate of tortillas in my hands and went away.
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