Mary Sue Milliken & Susan Feniger, the ladies of the well-known television show and book series”Two Hot Tamales”, and architect Josh Schweitzer, bring us a more refined take on Mexican food in a funky colorful environment. Their adventures on the downtown Mexico City street corners of the mid-eighties paid off with their learning the recipes and techniques of market vendors and home cooks- giving their food a full array of flavors textures and colors. The Border Grill is now headed by executive chef Raymond Alvarez and continues in this tradition of authentic Mexican.
Be sure to stop by for the great Happy Hour and the polite, cordial service. The Santa Monica location is more informal than “Ciudad“, the sister restaurant in downtown LA. On top of the restaurants in Santa Monica, Downtown Los Angeles, and Las Vegas, there is a food truck that wanders around LA and can be found by following @bordergrill on twitter.
The strength of Border Grill really lies in the menu. As we often do, we rambled through a delectable assortment of appetizers.
As one would expect, the tamales were extremely comforting- and they go great with a Margarita or Tequila. We really could not decide which we liked best, so we had to keep trying them!
Corn Tamales- made with sweet corn, topped with sour cream and salsa Fresca
Chile Cheese Tamale- manchego cheese, roasted poblano chile, tomatillo avocado salsa
We also enjoyed the Poblano Quesadilla with roasted poblano chiles and chipotle salsa.
Another of the great things about Border grill is active sustainable practices. What we really appreciate is the fact that they just do them, not beat you over the head with the fact that they do them. Among their ethos is the use of organic long-grain rice, beans, and coffee and ensuring the best possible utilization of local and seasonal ingredients. They also have biodegradable to-go containers and a natural water purification system. They serve reusable glass bottles instead of bottled water (a major waste as bottled water is transported from the other end of the world- which in turn avoids waste and transport greenhouse gas emissions!)
Border Grill is part of the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. This ensures that only sustainable seafood is served at the restaurants. Be sure to pick up the mini-booklet with information on what seafood is recommended to avoid and what is safe to consume. A very tricky subject these days with all the Mercury to be found throughout the marine food chain! And as a last bit of eco-excellence, as a follower of The Humane Society’s “Protect Seals” Campaign Border Grill does not serve Canadian Seafood.
Santa Monica is a bit of culinary hide-away in sprawling LA. We found several excellent eateries that will keep us coming back. Enjoy!
1445 4th Street, Santa Monica, California 90401
11:30 – 22:00 Sunday – Friday
11:30 – 22:00 Friday – Saturday