Mercado in Santa Monica. Anyone tried it? And Loteria on The Promenade in S.M.
Over on 4th Street, not far from the Border Grill.
BTW - Loteria Grill on the Promenade is pretty great. If you like Loteria at the Farmer's Market, you'll love it here. Chef has taken the idea and kicked it more upscale.
Went to Mercado a few weeks ago. Had a nice time but I think it needs to mature a bit. Servers were scrambling a bit and tried their best to be efficient. We had the following:
- Squash Blossoms: very average. would not order again. agree generously stuffed with cheese but the cheese was not melted. Had better at Mozza.
- Ceviche - spouse loved it and would go back for it. I thought is was OK. Not much flavor. Should be served with lime but enjoyed the saltines!
- Nopalitos - great flavor loved the chile negro
- Dos Gringas - our favorite...perfection...would go back for these!!
- Turkey leg mole - sad dissapointment...its was a dry turkey leg with mole on it...it was just sad...the mole was good...there was just not love on the plate..only way to explain it. The flavors just never joined.
- Flan - yes it is the best flan in the universe!!
We are looking forward to our next trip back to explore the menu some more.
We went last week and overall thought it was great. The flavors were soild and we really felt that despite paying upscale prices, we got our money's worth and it definatly was a step above Yxta (It's big sister). We had:
* Squash Blossoms: Super crisp (think Ricky's Fish Taco batter) and generously stuffed with cheese...
* Gringas: This is the reason we came... I love me some gringas and thanks to our trip to DF last year, P. was even intrigued enough to try them. They are a bit heavy on the pina, but otherwise SO GOOD.
* Veggie Plate: LOVED THIS!!!! The housemade tortillas are so good too. We would return just to have this plate, especially since they do seasonal veggies...
The rice and beans were average, so skip ordering those and the only thing I wasn't too crazy about was the cocktail. I would order a Red Pig Ale next time. All in all, a great replacement for La Serenata and as much as I love some of the menu items at Loteria, I think you'll be happier with the food at Mercado...