You don't need to drive too far along any big boulevard or street to know that Southern California is chockablock with splashy eateries.
Sometimes, though, the splash dries up, a bit, after the fanfare settles down, and the proof of a place has to be in the pudding (or, er, whatever dish the restaurant is known for).
The proof has been in the pudding, or, rather, the salsa, for Border Grill Santa Monica, and for over a quarter century, too. Thanks to its vivacious, knowledge-sharing founders Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger — the "Too Hot Tamales" — the 4th Street eatery became a hub of nouveau Mexican favorites from chicken poblano enchiladas to an array of zesty ceviches.
It's a stand-out supper-perfecting superstar, in short, which is a tall order in this town. But even superstars change it up, from time to time, as is Border Grill. The Santa Monica lease is up on the 26-year-old eatery, and staffers and fans alike will spend the last 26 days of its flavorful existence celebrating in salty-rimmed, extra-guac fashion.
The final day of Border Grill Santa Monica is Oct. 8, which makes Tuesday, Sept. 13 the kick-off of the final 26-day run. There shall be a quartet of throwback specials, one for each week, so swing by for portabello mulitas during the second week or sauteed shrimp during week numero four.
As for the deals? The margaritas are returning to the '90s, with $3 house margs the order of the final days. Also? Look for all-day happy hours every weekday through Oct. 8. And that famous Border Grill brunch will offer up "unlimited" small plates for twenty six dollars.
There are other Border Grills around, from downtown Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but if Santa Monica played a role in your world, from an important first date to lively after-work gatherings, best swing by before Oct. 8 to bid it farewell.
And, of course, snack upon a tortilla chip or two. The eatery has served thousands upon thousands over the last 26 years, and thousands of customers who'll forever recall that it was a stand-out in a region rife with iconic restaurants.