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“Gourmet Mexican, including best carnitas anywhere.”
Review of Mercado

Mercado
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Ranked #34 of 713 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 30 - USD 30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighbourhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: Santa Moinca
Reviewed 20 July 2015

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this restaurant before. It's become one of our favorites here in Santa Monica. I've dined here both with wife and daughter and have hosted a small dinner for business associates here. Last week I was left to my own devices for the evening and dined solo.

The carnitas is the best I've ever had anywhere. The first time I had it, I said so to the waitress. She came back five minutes later with the chef who said that the recipe had been in his family for 50 (?) years. They let me substitute my favorite side dish, the lime-cilantro rice for the cauliflower. As an appetizer I had their dip trio--guacamole, choriqueso, and a roasted red salsa--along with chips.

For those who like good old-fashioned soft drinks, they serve Mexican Coke--the kind made with cane sugar not fructose, just as all Coke was when I was a kid. With dinner I also had two of their unusual but very tasty cucumber-jalapeno margaritas. Friends have also enjoyed their blood-orange margaritas.

Reservations highly recommended. It can get a bit loud but the food is worth having to listen closely to conversation.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
1  Thank Trismegistus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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114 - 118 of 258 reviews

Reviewed 9 July 2015 via mobile

Excellent food and wonderful service. Good location as well. Very good ambiance whether with friends or family. Somewhat of a limited menu but it was worth it.

Thank Anthony A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2015

Fresh, full of flavor, spicy, we will definitely recommend ! We sat at the bar because it was full (on a Tuesday night at 9 pm). The bartenders were great.

Thank laura1040
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2015

Went with a Mexican friend, she rated all the food. Not the kind of place to get jugs of margaritas but a fantastic range of tequilas. Shared a bunch of lovely entrées which were very very tasty and great mains - in my case the Carnitas was the biggest and nicest piece of pork I've had in a long time. Not cheap but classy, fun and very tasty.

1  Thank craigcargill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2015

This place was ridiculously good, my husband hasn't stopped talking about the carnitas since we left california. Very busy place when we went there was a big line to get in. So make a reso. The jalapeño margarita was soooo perfect. You should definitely eat here when you're im Santa monica

1  Thank tasha_tro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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