Border Grill in Santa Monica, CA serves up Modern Mexican Cuisine from the “Too Hot Tamales”

In the late 1970’s, Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger crossed paths in kitchens from Chicago to France and always knew that they would work together again. In 1981, they reunited in Los Angeles and opened the City Café on Melrose Avenue, but outgrew the space in a short period of time. In 1985, they moved and opened CITY restaurant and Border Grill (Melrose) based on their culinary travels to Thailand, India, Mexico, and other exotic locations to take their clientele on an epicurean journey without ever leaving Los Angeles. In 1990, Border Grill in Santa Monica opened its doors in the perfect location, just a few blocks from Santa Monica Pier with the scent of fresh seawater in the air. In 1995, they became a national sensation on the Food Network’s “Too Hot Tamales”. They are as spicy in real life as they are on television; meeting them a few years back at the LA County Fair during a radio broadcast and attended one of their cooking classes at Border Grill. The most memorable experience that their restaurant gave me was on October 30, 2000, when my fiancé and I celebrated our rehearsal dinner at their Border Grill location in Las Vegas. What a great way to start a marriage with wonderful food that feeds the mind, body, and soul!

Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger define modern Mexican cuisine as light and healthful with large doses of flavor. They take authentic Mexican fare featuring traditional meats, poultry, and seafood and enhance them with fruits, vegetables, herbs, fresh salsas, rice, beans, and handmade tortillas. Everything is made from scratch using the freshest and sustainable ingredients from the food to even the signature cocktails. They are members of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program and only serve sustainable seafood. They also developed a program called “Good for the Planet, Good for You” giving guests the choice of dishes made from at least 80% plant-based ingredients. This program encourages guest to get meat out of the center of the plate and build the meal around vegetables, grains, beans, salads, and fruits.

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