A Closer Look At Mercado Santa Monica

mercado santa monica
Mercado Santa Monica.

Since chef Jose Acevedo and co-owner Jesse Gomez opened Mercado in Santa Monica last year it has made its culinary mark offering a mix of flavorful market-driven cuisine, lively atmosphere and tradition.

by Christina Xenos

Stepping into Mercado’s bi-level contemporary cantina atmosphere (designed by New York architect Poonam Khanna) nearly a year after it first opened its doors on Santa Monica’s 4th Street, the energy is high. Communal tables overflow with cocktails and conversation from its daily happy hour, booths are full downstairs and up and the promise of authentic modern Mexican cuisine beckons.

It’s here that Acevedo has been serving his signature cuisine—including carnitas made using a recipe passed down through generations—along with daily-handmade tortillas, fresh seafood selections and dishes featuring produce from the Santa Monica farmers market.

To start, the bar offers signature cocktails and 14 draft and bottled beers, plus more than 70 premium silver, reposado and añejo tequilas; follow that up with a dinner menu of south-of-the-border selections with a fresh angle, and you’re set.

Here’s a closer look at highlights from a recent visit:

el poblano mercado santa monica
El Poblano cocktail (mezcal, poblano, lime, agave, chipotle salt).
Martini de Albaca mercado santa monica
Martini de Albaca (fortaleza Blanco, muddled cucumber, basil).
Guacamole mercado santa monica
Guacamole (hass avocado, serrano, cilantro, red onion, chile de arbol salsa, spicy pepitas) served with fresh chips.
ceviche tropical mercado santa monica
Ceviche Tropical (citrus-marinated white fish and shrimp, mango, jicama, cucumbers, red onions, cilantro, serrano peppers, red peppers, grilled pineapple).
ahi tuna tostada mercado santa monica
Ahi Tuna tostada (chile de arbol aioli, sashimi grade ahi tuna, tempura onion, avocado slice).
mahi mahi mercado santa monica
Mahi Mahi is the pescado del dia, served with cilantro lime rice & veggies.
flan for dessert at mercado santa monica
Flan for dessert.

Soon, Mercado will not only be a westside mainstay; it is opening an additional outpost in the former Faux Pas Bistro space near the Farmers Market at 7910 W. 3rd Street. Slated to open in September, be ready for Acevedo’s cuisine east of the 405.

1416 4th St., Santa Monica, 310.526.7121. mercadosantamonica.com



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