Mercado in Santa Monica
Apparently (still) feeling ill has given me more time to post reviews. Just tried Mercado in Santa Monica today for brunch (had a Blackboard Eats 30% off deal). My partner and I had walked by the place before but skipped it b/c of the relatively high prices.
Had the pozole, chilaquiles (w/o any additional meat), and carnitas torta. All were very good. The pork in the pozole was incredibly tender. The portion looked small, but it was hearty enough to split btw 2 people. Server said that the chilaquiles were served w/ eggs sunny side-up. They were actually over-easy. I thought they were tasty enough, although the sauce was a bit too tangy, IMO. Carnitas torta was delicious. I'm used to carnitas being more... shredded? There were some really large chunks of meat in this, which made it a bit awkward to eat. Also would've liked more char on the meat. Homemade potato chips were good, although some were doused w/ a bit too much cayenne (or some sort of chile powder).
Homemade mint lemonade was very tasty; server said that they use Intelligensia coffee, although a sign near the bathroom said "Handsome" coffee (are they the same? I presume not).
W/ the 30% discount, the meal was just under $30. Even at full price, though, I think the place is well worth it.