Even if you aren’t the kind of person who religiously tracks every new restaurant in LA, chances are you’ve heard about Onda. That’s simply what happens when the people behind Sqirl and Mexico City’s Contramar decide to open up a Mexican restaurant in Santa Monica. So, does it live up to the hype? Well... it’s a work in progress. The service has occasional lulls, the sterile space feels like you’re on the ground floor of a car museum, and just about every dish could use less salt. But when this place is good, it’s really good, and despite some early flaws, there are simply too many interesting and exciting elements here to ignore. The trout tostada, Caesar salad, smoked pork jowl with habanero hot sauce, and inside-out turkey quesadilla need to be the top priorities when you order.
More spots in Santa MonicaSee more
Bru's Wiffle in Santa Monica is a fried chicken and waffles joint and one of our favorite Westside breakfast spots.
The Father’s Office burger (in Santa Monica and Culver City) is amazing. If you don’t know that, you don’t get it.
More Mexican spotsSee more
Madre! is a big, modern Oaxacan restaurant in Torrance with an even bigger collection of mezcal behind the bar.
Mexicali Taco & Co.
Home to the legendary Vampiro Taco, a meal at Mexicali Taco & Co is one of the best ways you can spend $12 in this town.
Simply put, Broken Spanish serves some of the greatest Mexican food in Los Angeles.
Suggested by our writers
Santa Monica’s Rustic Canyon may have hit it’s tween years, but this farm-to-table spot is better than ever.
Cassia feels like a Santa Monica clubhouse. One filled with truly fantastic Southeast Asian food.
Guelaguetza is a Oaxacan spot in Koreatown that’s one of the best Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles.
Filter and browse restaurants near you
Text us for personalized recommendationsLearn more