La Sandia, Santa Monica

A delicious margarita-flavored happy hour in Santa Monica place

A few years ago, while visiting New York City, we were tempted to try Zengo, chef Richard Sandoval's mexican fusion restaurant with an impressive tequila and mezcal bar. Unfortunately we couldn't make it so when I heard there's a Zengo in Santa Monica I thought it was the perfect dinner option. But after a week in Los Cabos, we weren't really longing for a full mexican dinner, so we decided to check out Richard Sandoval's lighter option in Santa Monica, La Sandia.
Both Zengo and La Sandia are located at the rooftop of Santa Monica place, a cool shopping center (designed by Frank Gehry - remember his buildings in Düsseldorf?) right by the lively Third Street Promenade. While Zengo addresses a more upscale dining experience, La Sandia is more focused on street food, perfect for a quick lunch or dinner or a chilling margarita after all the shopping, and that's exactly what we did.

We were seated at the Tequila lounge, a comfortable area with high chairs (there's also a nice outdoor terrace facing the mall) and we had a couple of Margaritas (btw, if you're on Fourquare, make sure you check-in, you might get a surprise :) ) hibiscus and mango, both very refreshing and tasty and even if we weren't that hungry, we had the chicken tinga and the pastor tacos.

The tacos were very good (especially the tinga) and portions (5 tacos for 10$) were perfect for a quick bite, if we had been more hungry we could have easily ordered another dish, from their Happy hour menu like the quesadillas or tortas.

I didn't get a chance to see the Tequila list (not after 2 margaritas) but a glimpse behind the bar was enough to see that they know their business:

So, if you're in Santa Monica and you feel like having a tasty margarita and some good mexican street food, La Sandia is a good option.
P.S. After reading online some past reviews complaining about the service I was not sure what to expect but I guess reviews really do help improve because we thought their service was flawless, courteous and attentive.

La Sandia
395 Santa Monica Place, 305 N
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Reservations: 310.393.3300 or through OpenTable
Lunch Daily 11:30am to 4:00pm
Dinner Daily 4:00pm to close
Brunch Sundays 11:30am to 3:00pm
Sunday-Friday All Night Happy Hour at the Tequila Bar & Lounge

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