As a tapas bar, Mundaka specializes in Spanish-inspired cuisine. Its chic, hip and eclectic ambience makes it a suitable place to gather after work with friends or coworkers. An active part of the Carmel community, Mundaka offers a place for many local artists and musicians to perform and showcase their talent.
Chef Brandon Miller of Mundaka works closely with nearby farmers and fishermen to create dishes using fresh and local ingredients. Changing seasonally, its menu includes dishes for sharing, such as a Mediterranean octopus, datilies or croquetas. Order special beverages like Verve coffee or the Spanish cocktail red wine mixed with coke to accompany your meal.
We've eaten here twice before and loved it, but this visit was disappointing. The food was great, but it was incredibly loud, and our table was wedged into a corner with two other tables, and there wasn't room for anyone to sit comfortably at the other tables. In addition, our server was indifferent. He gave us the briefest of service, and none of us were even complaining about the tables. Last, when we got there, the host told us that we weren't on his list, and they had stopped using Open Table 5 months before. So, we won't go back.
Noisy fun atmosphere..Loved the singing of Happy Anniversary to you in Greek ? Food was good. My husband loved the smoked salmon appetizer and salad. I thought my halibut didn't have much flavor but was a generous portion.
We spend September in Carmel and have always enjoyed Mundaka with the possible exception of last year when we liked the food but not the attitude. So we wanted to try again. After our drinks arrived we commented on the smell of cigarette smoke which I first thought was from our waiter but was from a smoker at a table right outside the door. As Californians we thought smoking was not allowed in a restaurant patio but perhaps we were mistaken. In any event the staff put up a strong defense for the right to smoke. We left after finishing our drinks and ate elsewhere.
Service was fabulous and food excellent. It was Saturday night of Labor day weekend...and too loud to hear conversation. Still, enjoyed.
Tapas is one of our favorite styles of dining. However, an inattentive wait staff with a bad attitude can ruin your night. That was the case here. We ate on a rather uncrowded Friday night with many tables available. Yet we were seated at a table in a corner with both of us facing the wall. Kind of felt like we should have donned our dunce caps for the meal. The food was just ok, but the attentiveness and attitude of our waiter were bad. When we asked the waiter what he liked he responded "we put everything in English so you can read about it". Not really the response we were looking for. It was challenging to get his attention during our meal and we finally asked a different server to bring us our check. After receiving it we left a modest tip reflective of his service and attitude, or lack thereof. We were out on the street walking home and we hear these noises behind us. We turned around to see our waiter standing at the door giving us catcalls. Really?!!
Context: We were there on a Monday night, and the restaurant was pretty empty. We had an excellent server, and we enjoyed the small plate, Tapas framework with its variety of different tastes. We also enjoyed a really excellent flamenco guitarist who entertained.
However, the tables are small, the space is cramped, and I could well imagine that if they were relatively full, it could be uncomfortably noisy. I think the servers would also have lots of difficulty navigating the narrow spaces and going back and forth as diners chose different plates over time, so service could also suffer. Don't know about the kitchen, but I suspect small size is a problem for them,too. Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if the bad experiences some reviewers complained of occurred at such times, and I would try to avoid nights when this might be expected.
Disclaimer for what follows: I am neither foodie nor oenophile, so caveat emptor.
I thought the few plates we tried (we don't eat a lot, which is why we like Tapas) were merely good and interesting, but not memorable. They were also a bit overpriced (but, this was Carmel, so perhaps to be expected). I thought that the wine list, while extensive, was definitely overpriced, with very few under $60 bottles to choose from. Fortunately, our server anticipated this problem and suggested a new, more modest red blend that they were trying out. It turned out to go very well with our choices.
Prospective diners should understand that true Spanish Tapas is supposed to be a leisurely, affair that can last for hours (in Spain, anyway) sampling different foods and wines. On a quiet night and with a good server, Mundaka could therefore be (and was) a very nice dinner. But in this space with loud people, noisy babies, and/or harried servers without the experience or the right attitude, maybe not so much. So choose wisely.
We are part time locals and brought friends to try Mundakas for the first time. The service was good and we had a wonderful bottle of French wine recommended by our server, but that is where our enjoyment ended. The charcuterie board was dominated by bread. The seafood paella was salty, mostly rice with a couple of small shrimp and a few mussels and clams which were very minuscule inside..about the size of a small pencil eraser, shriveled up. Too bad. We always root for the local restaurants, but sadly we won't return.
My wife and I had a great meal at Mundaka. I could not get enough of the pear salad (roasted pear). My wife loved the anchovies, very fresh and flavorful. Even the simple dessert, the dark chocolate with toasted bread, was surprisingly delicious. We will definitely go back
We were looking forward to dinner at Mundaka as we really enjoy Spanish food. As someone who has lived in Spain, these are the worst tapas we've ever had. I'm hoping that we visited on a bad night because most of the dishes we ordered were not up to the quality of real Spanish tapas. Traditional pan con tomate usually comes on a lightly toasted bread, rubbed with garlic and tomato and drizzled with olive oil. We ordered it a this restaurant and it came on a cold stale piece of bread with tomato sauce on it. The patatas bravas came in mostly mayonnaise and not much of the spicy brava sauce. The jamon serrano croquetas were decent but lacked the intensity in flavor that you get in croquetas in Spain. Other tapas were just as bland. Service was not very attentive yet very rushed.
An Open Table reservation brings with it the possibility of a published review; therefore, offering two patrons of Open Table the choice of two tiny awkwardly situated tables brings the chances of the review being less than positive, even closer. We made the poorer of two seating choices and sat under the "cozy stair well." Throughout dinner we were treated to the sound of feet tramping and squeaking on the staircase as they travelled up and down the stairs; consequently, I spent most of the meal focused on looking up and checking the integrity of the staircase, instead of enjoying the delicious food. This is a tapas restaurant where one orders different appetizers to form a meal. The food arrived at distinct intervals, and eventually our three appetizers overpowered the table. While the food was hot and delicious, but this lack of organization was another disappointment. Our server was knowledgeable and friendly, and the cocktails were constructed with care. The first was accidentally delivered before it had been completed and had to be returned to the bar. The second, a sangria concoction, was delicious. My memory of this restaurant is sitting in a cramped, uncomfortable and noisy corner, but as we left the restaurant, I was able to appreciate the overall personality of the establishment. It is spacious, decorated with rustic elements, has many large family size tables and is thoughtfully laid out. Had we reserved a table earlier, and had we been seated in a better location than at a table more suited to two two-year olds at a tea party, I believe I might have written a more positive review. Reserve early, and go with friends, lots of them. It is a noisy, boisterous place, just right for a fun-filled evening.