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“Best Mexican food ever!!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mercado

Mercado
1416 4th St., Santa Monica, CA (Santa Monica)
310-526-7121
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Ranked #29 of 513 Restaurants in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Price range: $30 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Cross street: Santa Moinca
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Best Mexican food ever!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

After an eventful day in LA from star-studded Walk of fame to the Hollywood Sign to Santa Monica pier, we concluded the memorable day with dinner at Mercado (Thanks to TA).

We ordered Blood Orange Margarita's at the recommendation of our server and Boy! Oh, Boy! was it good ?!!! We ordered guacamole and chips for appetizer and can say it was the best I have ever tasted. Also ordered Carnitas and it was delectably charred on the outside and juicy on the inside. Be sure to ask for corn tortilla ,they were good.
Th food was on the pricey side but totally worth it. Can't wait to go back!!

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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117 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    66
    41
    7
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
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English first
Boston
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Not your father's Mexican food (thankfully)”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2013

This was a great find (thank you, TA). We sat at a communal table, yet had plenty of room. Good wine and beer selection , as well as special margaritas, one of which blew my husband's socks off (it had jalapenos). We eyed our neighbors' app -- the duo dip-- which they were loving and we ordered it too. It was a huge plate of fabulous guacamole and a warm cheese dip. Oh so good! Then we shared chicken with mole sauce that was out of this world. Unfortunately we had no room for dessert. We had a wonderful waiter who was as sweet and prompt as could be. The vibe gets loud yet we managed to carry on a conversation without screaming (or so I think!). I'd come back here in a heartbeat.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California, United States
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“A Real Find for Oaxaca Food In West LA”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

Most "Mexican food" in LA is perceived as tacos and burritos. But Oaxaca food is another thing altogether. This restaurant was probably one of the best or best oaxacan food we have enjoyed in our many pursuits of this Yucatan specialty. The dishes were all outstanding. The small plates made a great start and one entre for four was a great finish. I understand this is the second restaurant owned by this owner (the other in downtown LA) but regardless, this ain't no chain food. If you are a "foodie" and want the best "mole" you may ever have eaten don't miss this spot. The service was spot on, the food really was outstanding, the service couldn't have been better. Who ever owns these two spots runs a tight well organized and well prepared kitchen and staff. Also for the price of bad "Mexican food" you can enjoy a real specialty treat. Also they have at least six types of margaritas the ones we had and shared where excellent. Go for the specialty ones they don't disappoint. I can't wait to get back from SF to LA so we can go again. Good reason to drive six hours, no?

  • Visited June 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthington, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 41 cities Reviews in 41 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Best Flan in the universe!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

We found the Mercado on Tripadvisor and so went for dinner last week. It is one of the most creative Mexican restaurants that we have ever been to! The margaritas are perfect, the guacamole features pine nuts and is fantastic. The enchiladas can come with a yellow mole sauce that makes them wonderful indeed. The owner spent some time visiting as well. Nice.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
45 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Latino with a Twist”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2013

If you want traditional Mexican enchiladas and burritos, there are better choices. If you want interesting flavors, innovative presentations and new culinary experiences with a twist on traditional themes, this place is worth a try. The ahi tuna tostadas were our favorite yet there was plenty more to like. A bit noisy at times - almost to the point where we could not hear each other across our small table - which diminished the experience a bit. Ultimately, I'd give it another go for sure.

Visited May 2013
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