Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if your Valentine loves Mexican food that is crafted to perfection you need look no further than Mercado on 4th Street in Santa Monica. This modern yet rustic venue with steel fixtures, reclaimed wood and leather furniture features some of the best Mexican food to be found in Los Angeles. Recently listed in Los Angeles Magazine’s Top 10 New Restaurants in 2012, Mercado’s owner Jesse Martinez and Executive Chef Jose Acevado will inspire you with creations that are fresh, incredibly flavorful and full of history from time-honored recipes ramped up to excite today’s diner.
Start your meal with some of our favorites, the Ensalada de Col y Rucula, a hearty farmers market salad of kale, arugula candied pepitas, pears, chewy dried strawberries, croutons and a light vinaigrette. The Dos Gringas Tacos are amazing; pastor meat that has been cooked traditionally on a rotisserie and topped with Oaxaca cheese, onions, cilantro, a spicy sauce and avocado salsa on crisped flour tortillas, these are the best tacos in town. Check the chalk board for soup of the day and specials. If squash blossoms are on the menu order them, these delicately battered and fried bundles filled with cheese are indulgent and fragrant of fresh squash vine.
Entrees’ of Carnitas is succulent and tender, served with roasted cauliflower is savory and comforting and the cool weather is right for the Pavo en Mole Oaxaqueno – the Shelton Farm’s whole turkey leg braised in spicy mole.
Toast your love with one of award-winning mixologist Gilbert Marquez's specially created Valentine’s Day cocktails. The Tequila Daisy: Organic Tequila, Pomegranate Grenadine, Fresh Cranberries and Fresh Lime Juice, a blush of red for the romantic day.
By all means, leave room for dessert, Chef Acevado makes our “Best of 2012” Flan and a delicious Tres Leche cake.