Elizabeth Daniels 4/12
Squished between a magic shop and a hair salon on 4th Street in Santa Monica is Mercado, the second Mexican incarnate here opening on May 1 from partners Jesse Gomez and chef Jose Acevedo. In 2010 Gomez hired longtime friend Acevedo to run the kitchen at his three-year-old downtown Mexican restaurant Yxta, though now at Mercado, Acevedo will organize a MexiCali menu of traditional Mexican plates prepared with seasonal, local produce. As one may recall, Mercado was actually estimated to open WAYYY back in August, and many a delay later, the restaurant is finally ready for its May debut.
Mercado sports a clean, bright dining room, offset by industrial, aged chairs and tables. Really, the 106-seat space doesn't scream Mexico by any means. No overt Mexican imagery or embellishments, though the restaurant's name and list of tequila, mezcal, and Mexican beers hint at its food genre. Hours of operation run Monday to Wednesday 5-10PM, Thursday 5PM-1AM, Friday/Saturday 4PM-1AM, and Sunday 4-10PM.
·All Mercado Coverage [~ELA~]