The first Mercado opened in Santa Monica. Over on 3rd Street, Mercado Restaurant opens their second location in a 5,800 square foot venue. The restaurant will serve WeHo patrons Mexican Cuisine. Mercado is located at the intersection of 3rd street and Fairfax. Mercado resides in the spot that was once my favorite bottomless Mimosa spot- Faux Pas, not to mention all the other restaurants prior to that. Mercado Los Angeles serves as the fourth installation of a classic and contemporary Mexican dining collection of restaurant concepts that includes El Arco Iris in Highland Park and Yxta Cocina Mexicana in Downtown Los Angeles. I visited the Mexican spot on a Monday, it was quiet, and they had curtained off one side of the restaurant as the brick exposed restaurant houses nearly 160 guests. The atmosphere was very mellow and calming. The Ana Henton designed restaurant was honestly very bare, but there was a mural on the back wall, which was very interesting. Mirrored walls which allow the menu and daily specials to be stenciled on covered all walls in the main dining room. A large open bar lay in the center of the restaurant housing hundreds of tequila. High top, rot iron, wood tables and chairs filled the dining room. As we ordered, the first thing I noticed was a great cocktail menu, with traditional tequila options. I ordered the house guacamole and tortilla soup to start. The Guacamole was made with hass avocado, serrano, cilantro, red onion, chile de arbol salsa, spicy pepitas, and served with fresh chips- I enjoyed every bite. However, the tortilla soup was odd. What appeared to most as blue corn tortilla garnish for the soup, I was confused whether this was dried kale or aged black olive slices. Either way the taste was so odd, I had to ask my waiter as he confirmed they were blue tortilla chips. I was worried at this point about dinner. My guest ordered-Pescado del Día (pictured above) – today’s fresh catch, yup Fish Tacos. Now these were tasty, but average. I ordered the Mercado Chopped Salad– arugula, avocado, raw farmers’ market vegetables, hibiscus vinaigrette prepared by Chef Jose Acevedo. I have really never tasted a salad quite like this. This dish made up for all the things that I thought was average at Mercado. Overall, the food is good, and atmosphere is pleasant.
Best Bite- The Cilantro Lime Rice and Mercado Chopped SaladMercado 7910 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048