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Border Grill

Border Grill Santa Monica

(Now Closed)
Mexican Restaurant$$$$
Downtown Santa Monica, Santa Monica
  • The experts at Los Angeles Times and LA Weekly recommend this place
    • Los Angeles Times
    • LA Weekly
81 Tips and reviews
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  • Popular
  • Recent
  • sayumi h.
    sayumi h.June 5, 2015
    Come during brunch hour when there is an all you can eat option. There's so much variety in the small plates that you can order from pancakes and waffles to burritos and tacos! So creative and tasty.
  • Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles TimesAugust 3, 2014
    The restaurant, its chefs and its cookbooks have been around so long that it's easy to take them for granted, as breathtaking as its stuffed steak and pescado Veracruzano were when we first had them. Read more
  • Kandice N.
    Kandice NicoleMay 14, 2016
    Aji amarillo and plantains may be typical South American cuisine but this avocado and pickled onion dish is a Mexican ceviche with Peruvian spices. Still, tasty.
  • Los Angeles Times
    Los Angeles TimesMay 31, 2013
    Border Grill is the rare mainstream restaurant whose tacos don't make you yearn for a truck parked by an auto-parts junkyard somewhere in East L.A. Read more
  • May ♍.
    May ♍August 14, 2015
    Above average food at this high-end, sit down, 'nouvelle' Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica. The food is creative and tasty, the drinks are effective and service is good enough
  • Akiko I.
    Akiko IOctober 22, 2013
    Green corn tamale - very flavorful! Hit & miss on foods in general but they got a very high note on the tamale!
  • Lauren D.
    Lauren DelfinoOctober 9, 2011
    Good food, awesome atmosphere, very pricey for what you get. But try the cucumber jalapeño margarita and the seafood ceviche! Soooo good!!!
  • Akiko I.
    Akiko IAugust 10, 2014
    More modern and clean Mexican food. You can try their appetizers with "Boarder classics", and great sautéed shrimp! Tostada was meh.
  • Ella M.
    Ella MotorxoomJuly 2, 2012
    Been here 25+ times
    This place has the best mexican! Food is awesome, stuff is attentive! The best in town! Come back and back and back!
  • Thai L.
    Thai LiuFebruary 18, 2010
    This is a pretty hip spot and it's location is convenient to the 3rd street promenade and an assortment of bars. Do Happy hour and get cheap eats and drinks. $3 tacos and $4 beer to wash it down.
  • Dan L.
    Dan LevyJanuary 6, 2014
    Run far away. The moribund staff is coasting off recipes that could be much better executed. You know you are in trouble when the best thing you are served are the chips and salsa.
  • Cassie P.
    Cassie PAugust 24, 2013
    So many flavors for the palette! White fish ceviche was my favorite :) Try the jalapeño cucumber margarita!!
  • KCRW
    KCRWApril 10, 2012
    For authentico street food flair with celebrity chefs at the helm, Border Grill is the spot! Don't forget your Fringe Benefits card for your delicioso evening!
  • LA Weekly
    LA WeeklyOctober 4, 2011
    Border Grill is the rare mainstream Mexican restaurant whose tacos don't make you yearn for a truck parked by an auto-parts junkyard somewhere in East L.A. Read more
  • Justin S.
    Justin StreufertAugust 9, 2014
    Salsas and guacamole were good, as was my quesadilla. Margarita pitcher could have used some more careful mixing!
  • Ashley H.
    Ashley HaglundJanuary 14, 2014
    They have a special menu for NYE, but you can still order off the regular menu as well!
  • Kandice N.
    Kandice NicoleMay 14, 2016
    Yucatan Pork on the dinner menu and their tomatillo salsa are both amazing.
  • Stephen K.
    Stephen KoontzSeptember 18, 2014
    Chile Rellenos is a solid entry dish. Delicious salsa, good for groups, great location.
  • Jenny B.
    Jenny Brooks-StrattonAugust 22, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Love their sampler platter of plantain empanadas and green corn tamales!
  • Thomas G.
    Thomas GjøsundMarch 20, 2014
    Asedo quesedilla or whatever it was called was amazing. Staff was excellent!
  • Christine S.
    Christine StoudnorDecember 8, 2009
    This is my alltime favorite restaurant. Great inventive California Tex Mex type food..Love the dish with the portobello mushroom. Fab margaritas! You can't go wrong dining here.
  • Dress for the Date
    Dress for the DateSeptember 14, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    The new happy hour tacos both Grilled Fish and Avocado are new, revamped and amazing.
  • The Feast
    The FeastJune 7, 2011
    Still hot are the chile rellenos with roasted poblano peppers and roasted plantain or the black bean empanadas.
  • Chrysanthe T.
    Chrysanthe TenentesOctober 1, 2011
    go for happy hour for tasty cocktails and amazing appetizers at the bar for cheap.
  • Michael W.
    Michael WSeptember 26, 2010
    The Green Corn Tamales are the best I've ever had, and same for the Yucatan Pulled Pork Tacos. Highly recommended
  • The Culinary Institute of America
    You may remember Chef Susan Feniger '77 from Food Network's "Too Hot Tamales." But before she made her TV debut, she was a student at The Culinary Institute of America!
  • Ryan H.
    Ryan HaniscoSeptember 18, 2016
    If the 8 dishes we got at brunch maybe half were palatable. One time visit.
  • Becca P.
    Becca PApril 21, 2013
  • LA Weekly
    LA WeeklyMarch 22, 2011
    Featured in LA Weekly's "L.A.'s Best Cocktails: Our 55 favorites and where to find them." (Click 'More Info') Read more
  • Dress for the Date
    Dress for the DateSeptember 11, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    The new menu is great! More vegetables less heavy. Also sampler plates.
  • Rebeca H.
    Rebeca HernandezFebruary 17, 2015
    The food was good not time I go to Santa Monica I would like to try the tacos :)
  • Chester B.
    Chester BeltowskiAugust 16, 2011
    Chile relleno burger is excellent. Service is poor, our table was never cleared of plates the entire meal, drinks were never refilled.
  • Matthew S.
    Matthew SmithDecember 29, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    The brunch is a godsend.
  • Eric W.
    Eric WatsonMarch 13, 2014
    Food was good but I must ask how you have carnitas without tortillas?
  • Michael A.
    Michael AllenNovember 29, 2011
    Love the green corn tamales and the quinioa fritters!
  • Shaun B.
    Shaun BrownFebruary 25, 2012
    Amazing food! Highly suggest the Quesadilla
  • Davina V.
    Davina VillagranaAugust 11, 2012
    Try the Baja Ceviche!!! Amazing!
  • Tom H.
    Tom HallMarch 20, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Happy Hour Lamb Tacos are the Best!
  • Chefs Feed
    Chefs FeedAugust 22, 2014
    Piero Selvaggio, chef of Valentino, eats here on his nights off. He loves the Green corn tamales. Read more
  • Shaun B.
    Shaun BrownJanuary 28, 2012
    Amazing Food and Service! Highly Suggest!
  • Ken S.
    Ken SJuly 10, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    As much as I like this spot, the Downtown location is far superior
  • Kathryn S.
    Kathryn SweeneyJanuary 20, 2010
    my favorite dish is the cochinita pibil. so delicious! The margaritas are killer too!
  • Lauren S.
    Lauren SimpsonJanuary 27, 2013
    Bottomless brunch!!!!! Oh the Pancakes!
  • Paul
    PaulFebruary 25, 2012
    The watermelon lemonade is great!
  • Micah D.
    Micah DuchesneJuly 19, 2016
    Margaritas - all you need is the house!
  • Jason Scott L.
    Jason Scott LivingstonFebruary 6, 2013
    Poor cell coverage in the back. Sit close to the windows!
  • Ravi K.
    Ravi KristinJune 20, 2013
    New menu is fun. Signed up gor special mescal dinner.
  • Buy Local Market
    Buy Local MarketAugust 10, 2011
    Exclusive Couples Cooking Class with Executive Chef Alex Moreno available 8/20 Read more
  • Mariza G.
    Mariza GarridoJanuary 19, 2015
    Sweet corn tamales...heavenly!
  • G J.
    G JJune 13, 2012
    Try the Carnitas And Brisket Tacos
  • Charm B. T.
    Charm B. TrippinAugust 27, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    $10 quick lunch at the bar includes app, main and drink. Chips and salsa too, obvi.
  • Jeff S.
    Jeff SMay 13, 2012
    they have brunch on weekends.
  • Geraldine P.
    Geraldine PugonganApril 27, 2010
    Sat night Happy Hour (10p) - pick 3 tacos for $8 and $5 sangria
  • Jim M.
    Jim McDermottMay 22, 2011
    Not much of a menu -- 1 enchilada selection, 1 taco. Drinks came slow, and the rim of my glass was broken! A great neighborhood, but I won't be back.
  • Melanie B.
    Melanie BrandMarch 2, 2015
    the happy Hour is with to go but the brunch is quite too expensive for what it is
  • Adam H.
    Adam HerscherJune 20, 2016
    Their wifi forces you to "check in" on facebook :(
  • Buttercup D.
    Buttercup DApril 4, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Sangria...and the wild mushroom quesadilla are delicious!
  • Elliot D.
    Elliot DeRemerFebruary 14, 2010
    Huevos Rancheros during their weekend brunch menu was fantastic.But their Guacamole appetizer is way overpriced ($10!).
  • Ashley B.
    Ashley BaxterMay 1, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Best dessert- Pastel Ruffino and banana cream pie
  • Skaag A.
    Skaag ArgoniusSeptember 16, 2016
    It's all good. Seriously.
  • Michael G.
    Michael GomezMarch 24, 2010
    Try their Chicken Panuchos and Chile Rellenos. They're great.
  • Mike M.
    Mike MearsJanuary 18, 2010
    Check out the brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 12-3. Great eats!
  • Jon S.
    Jon SanchezApril 8, 2016
    Kind of a weird place, in a weird location. It is a mexican food place with a twist, one block from the promenade but with promenade like $
  • LA Weekly
    LA WeeklyDecember 29, 2010
    Featured on LA Weekly's 99 Essential Restaurants!
  • Erika S.
    Erika SickingerMay 16, 2014
    Grilled fish tacos....just do it
  • G J.
    G JJune 13, 2012
    Try the Tacos al Pastor
  • genevieve b.
    genevieve bMay 7, 2012
    get the jalapeno margarita. hot, hot, hot.
  • Eileen R.
    Eileen RiveraJanuary 10, 2016
    Decent, but nothing that tell me I have to go back. Good service.
  • Eric W.
    Eric WatsonMarch 13, 2014
    Won't be going back there...carnitas plate without tortillas and a soda was $30...definitely not worth the money!
  • James B.
    James BarbourJuly 4, 2011
    Amazing Mahi-Mahi.
  • Nedra A.
    Nedra AAugust 6, 2011
    I have love hate relationship with this place!
  • Natalie G.
    Natalie GuerraOctober 22, 2015
    Non authentic Mexican food.
  • Stroy A.
    Stroy AustinJune 27, 2011
    Premier Sangria is great!!!
  • Hilary C.
    Hilary CableJune 13, 2011
    Avoid the gluey sweet corn tamales. Read more
  • Randal S.
    Randal SchwartzMarch 7
    Been here 10+ times
    This place is closed.
  • Neel K.
    Neel KetkarMarch 20, 2010
    Eating here now. Overcooked and greasy. But polite service.
  • Mishal A.
    Overrated 👎
  • Maria S.
    Maria SperanzaApril 28, 2010
    Pricey, slow service and so-so food...never again! I will say the salsa was good.
  • Dan O.
    Dan OrtizJuly 18, 2010
    Terrible food and messy bar area. Loud, dark and unpleasant. Do not reccomend...
  • Nancy M.
    Nancy MorrallAugust 13, 2010
    Wow, worst service ever, dirty, and waiter/bus boy with an attitude!
  • Cassie R.
    Cassie RiceJune 6, 2010
    Dinner service here is so horrible!
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