Border Grill

Dan and I have been devoted viewers of the television show “Top Chef” since season 5 in 2008 and we’ve watched all of the spinoffs as well – including three seasons of “Top Chef Masters.” Not only is it fun to drool while the best chefs in the country whip up amazing food, but every once in a while we hear about a restaurant in Los Angeles that we want to try. So this weekend we made a trip to Border Grill in Santa Monica, which is owned by not one but two “Top Chef Masters” contestants – Susan Feniger from season 2 and Mary Sue Milliken from season 3. Santa Monica is kind of a pain to get to because the 405 freeway gets so congested at its intersection with the 10, but the delicious dinner we had last night was well worth the trouble. Dan and I decided to stick with appetizers for our entire meal so that we could try more items, and I had to consult with our waitress to make sure that I didn’t order anything too spicy for my wimpy palate. We ended up with six different dishes that gave us a great sampling of the Border Grill cuisine. The lamb tacos were definitely my favorite – I’d be happy to eat those every day. After we were done with our food Dan and I got an even bigger treat – Susan Feniger walked out into the dining room and started greeting patrons! When she came to our table I was too starstruck to think of anything to say except, “Dinner was amazing!” Oh well. I was so happy when we left Border Grill last night. It was a great meal with my wonderful husband and experiences like that never get old.

Our menu
Quinoa Fritters – a “Top Chef Masters” winning dish
Adobo Chicken Quesadilla – slow roasted chicken, sweet adobo sauce, manchego, panela, cotija cheeses, mizuna salad, guacamole
Roasted Lamb Tacos – adobo roasted lamb, poblano chile, manchego cheese
Border Classics – two green corn tamales, two plantain empanadas, two chicken panuchos
Baja Ceviche – lime marinated sustainable seasonal fish, shrimp, cilantro, jalapeño, tomato, crispy handmade corn tortilla, cilantro aioli, avocado
Grilled Pear and Endive Salad – spiced pistachios, cabrales blue cheese, pickled jalapeño, chipotle honey vinaigrette

Some photos of our delicious meal

Quinoa fritters which helped Mary Sue win the Episode 5 elimination challenge. They were outstanding!

Lamb tacos. Oh my goodness, I can’t say enough good things about these.

Pear and endive salad – very strange and Dan said it was really spicy

Border Classics – the tamales were excellent

One thought on “Border Grill

  1. Yeah…The Border Grill was just as Lauren says. Very worthwhile place to get top-notch fine-cuisine mexican food. Gettting a tableside meet and greet from Susan Feniger was certainly a great bonus. If you do happen to enjoy a good Tequila, this place will not dissapoint you. I tried one of their Anejo “aged” offerings that ended with Azules. I wish I would have written down the name. I’ve spent the last 20 minutes trying to find the name from the ever-so-helpful internet, to no avail. Alas, if you are reading this AND you can get me a current list of Border Grill Tequilas, you are a better user of the mighty Internet than I. Anyway the Tequila smelled like it would strip the varnish off of a footlocker…but it was super smooth and tasted delicious. Very curious, indeed. I definitely liked it.

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