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“Great food, not-so-great service”
Review of Mercado

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Ranked #178 of 10,091 Restaurants in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
53 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great food, not-so-great service”
Reviewed August 19, 2014

The good: Their margaritas were fantastic.They had a nice selection of tequilas. The food was quite tasty with fresh ingredients. The atmosphere is great--clean and open--although the acoustics made it difficult to be heard over the crowd noise.
The not-so-good: We waited over half an hour to be seated, even though we had a reservation, and there were empty tables. Everything took f-o-r-e-v-e-r... from having our drink orders taken to getting the check.

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank poodydoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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100 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great Happy Hour”
Reviewed July 25, 2014

Great rita's for $7, the place is open and nice. They have lots and lots of tequila if you are adventurous. I also get their carnitas nachos which are really good. Also try their mashed potatoes, they are delicious.

Visited July 2014
Thank SoCal_Josh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
38 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Modern, delicious, bustling atmospere”
Reviewed June 19, 2014

We landed here never hearing anything about this place but craving Mexican food, and what a find! The atmosphere is great - modern, clean, open space, not too large, lots of wood, cozy....a lot of energy, people talking, laughing, waiters running around, young adult crowd....we didn't have a rerservation but got the last table available. The drinks are fantastic, the menu creative. My chicken mole was buttery soft. Check it out.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank HMSJersey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
104 reviews
57 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Thanks Kardashians!”
Reviewed June 3, 2014

I'm ashamed to admit that I learned of this restaurant from celebrity sighting posts on People magazine and an episode of Keeping up With the Kardashians. Be that as it may I also learned that the Kardashians are good at one thing (besides inter-racial, independent art films) and that's picking high end Mexican restaurants to dine at because this place was good!

Located close to the Grove shopping mall, the restaurant is in a good area and the open air windowsill makes it a good spot to dine and enjoy tequila cocktails while people watching. The tequila selection is rather impressive and while the food is more high scale Mexican, the pricing is quite affordable and the atmosphere is hip yet casual.

We went for dinner but the restaurant offers an awesome Happy Hour Menu from 5-7 with $3 beers and $6 appetizers as well as a Sunday brunch. The food is served tapas style but the portion sizes are quite large. The 'Dos Gringas' which are spit-roasted pork tacos are phenomenal as are the Rajas Poblanos. It was a special the night we were there and not on the regular menu but the Ahi Tuna Tostada was also incredible. The tuna was incredibly fresh and some of the best I ever tasted. There was another mixed seafood tostada available on their menu but that was the only item we ordered that didn't particularly stand out.

My only complaint was the service though it was not bad enough to deter me from ever returning. When we first walked in, we asked the hostess if we could be seated next to the windowsill but she told us those tables had been reserved. By the time we were finished up our meal, only one of those tables had been seated and it was a couple seated at a table built for five. I wouldn't say that the staff is rude but more that they just don't seem to care. The food and drinks did however come out rather quickly and after reminding the server he forgot one of the dishes we ordered, he was quick to retrieve it.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Martina N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level 5 Contributor
86 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Outstanding Mexican Food In A Nice But Casual Atmosphere”
Reviewed May 11, 2014

The five of us went there for dinner last night and had one of the best Mexican meals in our collective memory (and we all dine out often). The atmosphere was great, the service was fast, professional and not intrusive (which is all good) but the thing that really stood out for everyone was the delicious food. Several members of the party said it some some of the best Mexican food they had tasted in Los Angeles.

The restaurant is about a block away from the famous original L.A. farmer's Market in the heart of Los Angeles, on 3rd Street a few doors West of Fairfax. While (from a causal look) it's entirely roofed, the front "window" can vanish and you wind up with an indoor/outdoor feel, which is really nice. The bar and casual dining area is about 2/3 of the place, and has a nice energetic feel without being so loud that you can't carry on a conversation (which unfortunately seems to be the trend these days). We sat to the right (in a room in back of the bar) which has a series of large booths and a fireplace. The booth (and there were a number of them) was quite comfortable for five, and would be fine for six.

Service (by Brandon) was friendly, attentive and efficient; I was quite happy with it.

We over-ordered and bought too much food (their "small" plates are large as small plates go, so more restraint in ordering than we exercised would have been better. We started with the dip duo (hot sauce, queso and guacamole) @ $17 and loved it. I started with a daily special of chicken tortilla soup @ $7. That was a great choice; I love the dish, and I think it was better than some of my previous favorites (Polo Lounge and Pelican Grill in Newport Beach) because it had more complex flavors. If you like tortilla soup, and its on the menu, don't miss it! My main dish (recommended by Brandon) was the Carne Asada @$25, and it was also outstanding. Not overwhelmingly huge, but a perfect portion with a nice flavorful char on it. Another great dish. Another member of the party had the chef's signature carnitas @$21; all of us shared a small taste and it was exceptional. That's what I'll order on my next visit. The person who ordered it said it was the best carnitas he's ever had anywhere. Other members of the party shared a numbered of small plates, and loved all of them: Tacos de tinga de pollo@$10, tuna tostada @$16, tacos de arrachera @$14, as well as other dishes.

I highly recommend this place without reservation. We will definitely be back, and soon! I don't often have a meal this good, and I'm pretty picky.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Steve421
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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