Mercado isn’t the best Mexican food you’ll ever eat. It is, however, as good as you’ll find in the immediate downtown Santa Monica area, and after a day of walking around the pier with your out-of-towner cousins, that’s good enough. The space is nice and relaxing and not as scene-y as you think it’d be.
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Best known as that place you drank too many tequila sodas at a few weekends ago, Basement Tavern calms down mightily during weekday happy hour.
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North End Caffe
North End Caffe in Manhattan Beach is a diner doing some interesting spins on greasy spoon classics.
Bar Calo is a Mexican cocktail bar/restaurant in Echo Park that reminds you why you love LA.
La Flor De Yucatan
La Flor De Yucatan is a Mayan bakery in Pico-Union serving Yucatan baked goods and excellent tacos.
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La Cabaña Restaurant
Mexican restaurant La Cabaña is a Venice landmark with huge burritos and a killer back patio.
Hermanito is a casual Mexican cantina on Sawtelle and a great place to post up after work while traffic dies down.
No. 10 is about what you’d expect from an expensive Italian restaurant on W. 3rd St. So it’s pretty boring.
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