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“Great food, great service, great ambiance”
Review of Border Grill - CLOSED

Border Grill
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Mexican
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Bar scene
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Santa Monica
Description: Enjoy upscale, modern Mexican food in a vibrant setting at Border Grill, the hip, urban cantina from Chefs Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, of Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" and Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”. Presenting the bold foods and flavors of Mexico, Border Grill has established a new standard for gourmet Mexican fare. With a menu of complex authentic dishes based on the home cooking of Oaxaca and the Yucatan, Border Grill takes Mexican food to a whole new level!
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
53 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Great food, great service, great ambiance”
Reviewed January 24, 2013

We loved our dinner at Border Grill yesterday. The service was perfect (Thanks Amelia!) and the food delicious. Don't miss the Yucatan Pork or Sauteed Shrimp, and the Mexican Chocolate Cream Pie or Flan of the week. You also can't beat the location - just off the 3rd street promenade so a little quieter but within easy reach. Can't wait to go back to try the things we didn't get to order this time.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank CH200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

272 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Wonderful Saturday Brunch”
Reviewed January 14, 2013

The Saturday Brunch was not inexpensive by any means but having the choice of eating different items in your choice of quantities was attractive. Although we were six and could've easily ordered and shared multiple appetizers and entrees, we agreed that we would all order tapas style and reorder what we liked.

Overall the food was excellent. Although a buffet, the food was presented beautifully, each cooked to a high standard. With each dish the buffet felt more and more of a value. High marks goes out to the steak and eggs, which other than the generous portion was on a bed of delicious shredded hash browns. The shrimp was tasty though the grits were a bit plain (as I assume they usually are). The Chorizo and Egg Taco and Carne Asada Taco were all reorders.

For those with a sweet tooth, the french toast and churros were amazing. I think we must have ended up ordering an order of churros for each of us.

What was a huge disappointment was the Short Rib Hash and Egg. I can't say it was bad only because they didn't have any. They informed us only after we started ordering, which I thought was just poor ethics. Had they come forward earlier we would've felt less cheated! Poor judgement on their part.

All in all it was a wonderful brunch. That they didn't offer the short rib hash may just be the incentive to go back again. This time we will be sure to ask ahead of time if anything is missing before we make any plans.

Service was good and the atmosphere was right for a brunch. Despite the one star off for withholding vital information, the Border Grill Saturday Buffet Brunch was a hit!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Bigbrainblue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
265 reviews
150 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 168 helpful votes
“An awesome Saturday brunch and a new Santa Monica favorite”
Reviewed January 11, 2013

I've known of the Border Grill for nearly as long as it has been in Santa Monica. Returning to Santa Monica at the end of a long road trip and armed with a new interest in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine, their new brunch caught our eye. We made our way over early on this Saturday morning and had an awesome meal.

The Border Brunch has its own menu and features "unlimited small plates" for $29.99 a person. We were promptly seated and our waitress encouraged us to review the menu, have a couple of menu items in mind and that she would return with the fresh fruit plate for each of us and guava empanada for the table. The fruit plate (papaya, pineapple, blood orange, raspberry and blueberry) was, well, fresh and tasty, though I could not detect the habanero in the sauce. I ordered a second plate. The empanada was okay.

Feeling the need for a "healthy" course, I moved on to the "old fashioned rolled oats", featuring yogurt and dried fruit; nothing fancy or Tex-Mex here, but as good as it should be.

In succession, I ordered the steak and eggs, the carne asada taco and the Oaxacan pancakes. All three were outstanding. The steak/eggs featured an egg over easy, thin strips of rare steak and a mildly hot chipotle sauce. The carne asada taco contained grilled steak, onion and guacamole. The Oaxacan pancakes were drenched in chocolate and a caramel/coffee syrup; they melted in the mouth.

I did repeats on all three of the above, wishing I had room for more.

The table service was friendly and efficient.

The four of us left brunch with a smile and a new Santa Monica favorite.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank doctorbobster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orlando, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Favorite in Santa Monica”
Reviewed December 31, 2012

This has been our favorite restaurant in Santa Monica for many years. We recently returned again, and were pleased that it remains at the top of our list. The three salsas served with tortilla chips are bold, flavorful, and yet not overwhelming. All menu items are are creative, fresh and distinctive. Definitely not your typical red sauce and cheese Mexican.

Visited December 2012
Thank AltamonteTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level 6 Contributor
309 reviews
185 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“Downhill from last visit”
Reviewed December 22, 2012

When traveling through LA, we always try to stop here for lunch as the food is unique and flavorful. We did so today and were quite disappointed. I ordered the chicken and pork tacos and they had a lots of sauce flavored like "mole" so all I tasted was the sauce. The rice and beans tasted like something a chain fast food restaurant would serve. My husband had the pulled pork with brussel spouts and squash. The squash was bland and spouts were very salty. However, the pork was delicious. We have had such great meals in the past that maybe this was an off day. On the flip side, our waiter was great, very attentive and provided fast service since we were parked in a one hour meter zone! The atmosphere is fun and relaxing but we won't be stopping by anymore after today's meal.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SanDiegoBJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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