All reader reviews by allolex


I've just read through all the reviews here and am a little surprised to see

such mixed reviews of Mercado, a restaurant in which I had an overall pleasant

experience. I suspect there may be some truth in what some have said about

local diners expecting something akin to Tex-Mex, and getting passably

authentic Mexican fare instead--a pleasant surprise for some, but a shock to

others. As a native Losangeleno, I'm most familiar with the norteño cuisine you

get in California and Northern Mexico. This isn't that. Central Mexico is much

better represented in the menu.

I enjoyed my mole poblano, and although it certainly wasn't the best I've ever

had, the flavors were pretty much on the mark. My partner's enchilada's were

much better, and the totopos (tortilla chips) appeared to be made

in-house--they certainly tasted that way! I did find the portion sizes a bit on

the small side (one smallish chicken leg in my mole poblano).

The service was charming, but inexperienced. I imagine it will improve with

time. However, considering Mercado is owned by Atique Choudhury, who also owns the

wildly succesful restaurant Yum Yum, the problems with service are a little

surprising. Perhaps he valued employing actual Mexicans above having an

experienced waitstaff.

As far as pricing is concerned, I feel Mercado offers good value for money.

Mexican cuisine tends to require extensive preparation--the frijoles de olla

and moles often require many hours to prepare. That has to be considered when

looking at the prices.

I think someone put a lot of thought into what dishes to offer on the menu.

Let's just say that the choices offered don't have anything in common with what

you'd find at La Perla/Café Pacifico.I like that Mercado is not attempting to

be everything to everyone--almost always a mistake leading to becoming nothing

for anyone in the restaurant business.

I'd go back to Mercado again.

Saturday, September 09, 2006
Overall rating 8 stars
Food 8 | Service 7 | Atmosphere 8 | Value for money 9

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