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Border Grill: 99 Essential Restaurants 2011

PHOTO BY ANNE FISHBEIN

When Border Grill first opened a quarter-century ago, its premise was simple: classically trained chefs, with first-rate ingredients, cooking Mexican food. Not riffs on Mexican food, or chefly reinterpretations of Mexican food, but the real thing, chiles rellenos and panuchos, roasted lamb adobo, cochinito pibil and carnitas, all served in dining rooms — splashed with delirious paintings by Hudson Marquez — whose giddy geometry may make you believe that you're on your fourth Paloma before you've even reached the table. Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger are unlikely Mexican heroes, and when Mexican-food purists lament the poor quality of beef used in local taquerias, it is most assuredly not to Border Grill's succulent, garlic-stuffed Wagyu rib-eye that they refer. But Border Grill is a place of charro beans, of wondrous ceviche, of hot tortillas made to order. The long, black dining room of the Santa Monica Border Grill, an artifact of the late 1980s, looks even better now than it did when the place first opened, and the new downtown location, in what was until recently Ciudad, has a great patio. 1445 Fourth St., Santa Monica. (310) 451-1655, bordergrill.com. Sun.-Thurs., 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., till 11 p.m. Full bar open till mid. Takeout. Street and valet parking. AE, D, MC, V. Also at 445 S. Figueroa, dwntwn. (213) 486-5171. Lunch Mon.-Fri., 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; dinner, Sun.-Tues., 5-9 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs., 5-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 5-11 p.m. Full bar. Takeout. Valet parking. All major CC. Modern Mexican.

99 Essential L.A. Restaurants 2011:

Jonathan Gold's Introduction
Anne Fishbein's Photos
The Google Map

The List:

A-Frame
Akasha
Alcazar
Angeli Caffe
Angelini Osteria
Animal
Antojitos Carmen
Attari
Babita
Bludso's
Border Grill
Bottega Louie
Bulgarini Gelato
Cacao
Campanile
Casa Bianca
Chang's Garden
Chego
Chichén Itzá
Chung King
Church & State
Ciro's
Comme Ça
Cut
Dae Bok
Din Tai Fung
Drago Centro
El Huarache Azteca
El Parian
Elvirita's
Euro Pane Bakery
Eva
Fab Hot Dogs
Father's Office
Fig
Gjelina
Golden Deli
Golden State
Good Girl Dinette
The Gorbals
Guelaguetza
Guisados
Huckleberry
Hungry Cat
Ink.
Jar
Jitlada
Kiriko
Kobawoo
La Casita Mexicana
Langer's
Larkin's
Lazy Ox Canteen
Le Comptoir
Little Dom's
Lou
Lucques
LudoBites
Lukshon
Mantee
Marouch
Mayura
Meals by Genet
Mélisse
Mezze
Mo-Chica
Mother Dough
Mozza
Musso & Frank Grill
Nem Nuong Khanh Hoa
Newport Tan Cang Seafood Restaurant
The Nickel
Night + Market
Oinkster
101 Noodle Express
Palate Food + Wine
Park's Barbecue
Picca
Playa
Pollos a la Brasa
Providence
Ray's
Red Medicine
Rivera
Rustic Canyon
Salt's Cure
Sapp Coffee Shop
Sea Harbour
Son of a Gun
Sotto
Spago
Spice Table
Street
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Tasting Kitchen
Terroni
Tsujita L.A.
Vincenti
Waterloo & City

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Related Locations

miles
Border Grill

1445 Fourth St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

310-451-1655

www.bordergrill.com

miles
Border Grill

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