Food & Drink

Chipotle Bloody Marys and carnitas chilaquiles: Mercado's brunch is amazing

Published On 10/01/2013 Published On 10/01/2013
Mercado, Los Angeles
Elizabeth Daniels/Mercado

Just across from the Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax, this Mercado is the second outpost of Santa Monica's lauded taqueria, with one important differentiator: a boozy weekend brunch that is kind of the best ever. To wit:

Jeff Miller

You'll start, clearly, with this chipotle Bloody Mary, garnished with house-pickled carrots and jicama...

Jeff Miller

... but hopefully someone at the table'll also order this spicy-on-the-back-end, Mezcal-based, pomegranate/passion fruit guy, so you can have eleven sips and then order one on the side.

Jeff Miller

Warning: you're gonna have a super-hard time deciding what to order, 'cause you can't go wrong with this monstrous torta de chorizo con huevo (translated: sausage & egg sandwich)...

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... these carnitas chilaquiles...

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... or these huevos a la Mexicana, scrambled w/ cilantro, tomatoes, and onions and served with lime rice and black beans.

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SANGRIA BREAK!!!!

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You're gonna want some stuff to share with the table, too, like these slightly spicy pepper-and-onion potatoes...

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... this heaping cheese-topped plate of grilled corn...

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... or these nachos, topped w/ guac, homemade queso, carnitas, and the tears of joy you'll clearly be crying as you eat them.

Jeff Miller

Finish the whole shebang with a guava mimosa. And then stumble over across the street to the Grove for a movie, because doing anything more active than that is gonna be really, really hard for a while.

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1. Mercado 7910 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (Mid Wilshire)

Since opening its first location in Santa Monica, this upscale Mexican eatery has expanded across LA with a second location downtown (and another in Hollywood). Mercado delivers quintessential small and large plates alongside a lengthy cocktail menu in a casual space decked out with colorful artwork. Expect homestyle eats like enchiladas with mole sauce, slow-cooked carnitas, and solid guacamole. More than 70 tequila options will have you beelining for the open air bar.

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