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7910 W. Third St. (S. Fairfax Ave.) Send to Phone
323-944-0947 | Make Restaurant Reservations | Menu
A second location of Jesse Gomez's Mexican restaurant offers a fine bar program and 70 tequilas.

Dinner nightly, Brunch Sun.

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Mercado Restaurant Review

: Jesse Gomez (El Arco Iris, Yxta Cocina Mexicana) and chef-partner Jose Acevedo first brought their Mexican fare to Santa Monica with the flagship Mercado; a second sister spot, designed by Ana Henton (Lukshon) boasting open spaces, lots of white tile and clean lines, livens up Third Street. It’s a far better sit-down choice than most places at the catty-corner Fairfax Farmer’s Market and The Grove, and diners can enjoy open-air seating on warm days or while away the hours with tapas and cocktails at the convivial bar. Seasonal items range from queso-filled squash blossoms deep-fried in tempura to local halibut nestled among winter squash. Pleasing lighter options include Mexican kale salad with candied pumpkin seeds, pears and agave-lime vinaigrette, or fish and shrimp ceviche with mango, jícama and cucumber. However, traditionalists won’t be disappointed with the slow-cooked carnitas, the roasted turkey leg with Oaxacan mole, or a rich, creamy flan to finish things off. The bar program at this location is distinguished by the creative mixology of Cesar Arenas (Las Perlas), who turns out first-rate tequila and mezcal cocktails --- particularly the specials --- that are nicely nuanced. More than 70 tequilas grace the bar; the happy hour menu is wide-ranging and a good bargain. Other locations.
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