Over the weekend, Chef Daniel Godinez’s long awaited El Mercado opened in downtown Santa Ana two doors down from Yost Theater. There is a little social media buzz, but mostly, a quiet opening. Friends in the know convene to check out the trendy spot serving Mexican regional cuisine focusing on tapas-style shared plates.
The bar program is outstanding with mixologist Cesar Cerrudo at the helm. The Italian Wolf arrives shrouded in mystery (unfortunately I did not capture the most important part of the presentation) but the final product is a smoky concoction my table mate enjoyed immensely.
I, on the other hand is enamored by Ay Madre, a cocktail of tequila, jamaica (hibiscus) and a tamarindo lollipop garnish, which adds to the complexity of the drink.
El Mercado will be reviewed in full in the months to come, but for now, those who have eagerly waited for its opening will be happy to know, IT’S OPEN!
301 N Spurgeon St
Santa Ana, CA 92701