Gustavo and Irene Montes opened El Arco Iris in Highland Park in 1964 after they arrived from Mexico. Their grandson Jesse Gomez has continued the family tradition, opening eight restaurants of his own, including Mercado, which opened in the Manhattan Village on Sept. 17.
In 2017, Montes and his mother, Angie Montes, sold El Arco Iris, which he said had “always been a part of my life.” But Gomez said he is happy to bring a restaurant serving “traditional Mexican food with a modern twist” to Manhattan Beach.
“They told us they were doing a major redevelopment here in the shopping center,” said Gomez, which was formerly Brickworks and L.A. Foodshow. “We had been looking at The Point awhile back, but it didn't work out for a few different reasons. They reached out to us and said we would really like to have your restaurant here.”
Gomez opened his first restaurant, Yxta Cocina Mexicana, in downtown Los Angeles in 2009. Then, in 2012, Gomez and his chef friend Jose Acevedo opened the first Mercado restaurant in Santa Monica, which was followed by locations in Hollywood, Los Angeles and Pasadena in 2018.
The seafood inspired Maradentro opened in 2015 in Studio City and they added another location in Brentwood in 2016. The Studio City location was transformed in 2017 to Mercado Taqueria, a casual bar that serves tacos and tablitas.
Mercado serves lunch dinner and a brunch Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their happy hour is Monday through Friday, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, from 4 to 6 p.m.
For a look at the full menu, visit http://www.cocinasycalaveras.com/mercado-mb-menu