Mercado, Your New Margarita Spot in Hollywood
It's sort of fitting that a third Mercado has opened in October. The murals by local artist Carlos Nieto III, a woman and man's face fused with skeletons, is very Halloween, very Dia de los Muertos. But they're permanent and very cool, and go perfectly with designer Ana Henton's open and breezy space. For this third location of Jesse Gomez and chef Jose Acevedo's hipsterized Mexican restaurant — the original is in Santa Monica with a second near the corner of Third and Fairfax — the look and vibe are similar with great chandeliers, antique mirrors, heavy wood accents and tin ceilings. It's kind of rustic and sexy, especially for this ho-hum stretch of Cahuenga that straddles Hollywood and Universal City.
There's a large stone bar for tequila tasting, which is beneficial since there's a new even more robust tequila program, and you'll still find spicy cucumber or refreshing hibiscus margaritas, New Fashioneds made with mezcal, and other cocktails on the menu. For food, Acevedo offers similar dishes as the others, with things like the excellent guacamole, chorizo queso and fiery salsas; traditional enchiladas, tacos and ceviche tostaditas; and contemporary twists with larger plates like roasted half chicken and mashed potatoes, and a hunk of carnitas with cauliflower escabeche. Look for some exclusive dishes to this location, like a kicked-up cucumber salad and more. Mercado opens daily at 5 PM for dinner during the week and 4 PM on weekends, with happy hour Monday through Friday (4-7 PM) and brunch coming soon.
3413 Cahuenga Blvd.; 323-512-2500