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.
The dishes we had were really something special. We tried about 8 or so between the 3 of us. I've never seen staff work so well as a team. Also, we were wanting to go very slow this particular evening, and they easily picked that up and adjusted. The decor and ambiance was spot on. Sort of rustic chic spanish tapas bar. We will definitely return when we go back to the area.
Excellent restaurant. The food reminded me of my travels to Spain. The atmospere is very intimate, so there are not large crowds. The quality of the food is outstanding...very flavorful and plentiful. Although not offered in pitcher form, try the white sangria. I felt the white ssangria was better than the red, and a little more potent.
The food was good but the sangria was terrible. I would pass on the sangria next time. There were three in my party, two of us had no issues but my boss had a poor reaction to some item on the menu and was in and out of the bathroom. Ambiance was great. Is a great place to be with friends.
Mundaka is one of my favorites. There is always something new on the menu. The dates are a must-have, and I love the olives, too. Great place for something different than the usual hipster fare found at other "trendy" restaurants.
Best charcuterie board - just like in Madrid; jamon serrano, manchego, figs. We just kept ordering boquerones because they were so delicious - so authentic. The service was impeccable - personable, like we were regulars. I'm 8 months pregnant and so it says a lot that I was comfortable enough to not want to leave - it also explains how we could eat so many of their amazing dishes. The duck was perfectly cooked - not fatty at all. The bomba was awesome - not boring potatoes but rather super flavorful in every bite.
I made a reservation at Mundaka expecting a romantic atmosphere where my husband and I could celebrate our anniversary. The tables were so close together we were basically included in our neighbor's conversations. The food was great, but somehow they were out of paella and other main dishes. Maybe we went on an off night...
Perfect location in Carmel. Excellent service. Delicious tapas. Fair price.
This is the fourth or fifth time we've been to Mundaka. We always enjoy the food and the staff are friendly and helpful with the tapas menu. Perfect little bites before the concert we were attending.
I've been here a few times and the food is always excellent. The service this time was inattentive, and we were left sitting at our table waiting for dessert and for the check. I guess they were starting to close-up for the night and were busy doing that instead of attending to the last 3 tables in the restaurant.
Small plate let us try several things and each was outstanding. Service was attentive and fun, and the entire experience from the welcome till we left was upbeat and just made our mood happy.
The food was good, but tapas portions were very small. The paella was mediocre at best. Definitely skip that.
I had such high hopes that evening. I was going to have tapas for dinner. We started off with some great cocktails, the bacon wrapped dates and a great server who was very attentive. Our other dish the octopus lacked in flavor and there were more potatoes than octopus on the plate. The bread with tomato garlic and olive oil was good, but how can one mess that up? . I was so let down. This is another place to go to for drinks and a couple of dishes not a dinner
From reading other reviews of this place, we had high hopes for a great tapas meal. When we arrived, we noted that there was a large group seated in the larger of the two small dining rooms, and they were quite loud, so we asked to be seated in the other room, as far as possible from the group. Unfortunately, as the wine flowed at the other table, the group only got louder and more obnoxious, with the noise carrying into our far corner. Not something the restaurant could necessarily do anything about, just a possibility to be aware of. We were hoping for a quiet little place to enjoy each other's company, but that was not to be. We ordered all four items from the Traditional menu. Both the Pan Tomate (bread with tomato topping) and the Tortilla (similar to quiche) were served refrigerator cold, which was a little off-putting. Room temp would have been more palate pleasing. The warm options, the Bomba (sausage-mashed potato ball) and the Patas (fried potatoes with sauce), were tastier, but they, along with the Tortilla, were exceedingly salty. We ended up leaving much of the food behind. The service was friendly, but for a small restaurant, we waited a long time for our waitress to make her way back to our table after we finished our food to request a dessert menu and then the check.
We have gone here a few times but never tried the poron. It's essentially a bottle of wine with a spigot. Sharing that and lots of tapas, plus a guy playing Spanish guitar, it's such a fun place. The dates and meat/cheese plate are a great starter!
Food was just okay and frankly disappointing since we were hoping to find a place that served good Spanish cuisine. The Papas bravas were soggy. The tortilla, the pan tomate, and the bomba was decent just nothing special. The boquerones and hamburguesa were the best food items we had, but still they were just okay. For $9 the hamburguesa was too small, but $5-$6 would be fair. Because all the food was boring, we didn't risk getting an entree like paella, which is an outstanding $52! Even if it is for two people, $52 for paella in a place where all their other food is pretty boring is not worth the risk.
Mundaka offers tapas (small plates) that are best shared with the table. The menu items change frequently to keep the dining experience fresh. The food is amazingly good with the Padron peppers a perennial hit whenever they are in season. Other favorites include the duck leg confit, Atun (seared ahi) and the baked cauliflower. Not on the menu, but available if you ask, are the shoe string potatoes prepared in truffle oil. All told, Mundaka is a rare find in a town with many good restaurants.
We never made it past the true Tapas! the Fried Garbanzo Beans with truffle salt was the perfect foil to the meat & cheese. All we added (before dessert) were the perfect Padron peppers. A deep rich 2006 Spanish Petit Verdot gets high marks especially with the meat and then the desserts, what a way to start the evening.
This hip restaurant in the heart of Carmel offers authentic Spanish tapas food---none of that modern mumbo-jumbo that everybody is offering under the name 'tapas'. The flavors of traditional dishes such as 'pulpo a la feira'---with imported octopus from Spain and 'patatas bravas' are perfect---the chef actually toured specific bars in Northern Spain to nail the taste of those simple, but difficult dishes. As a Spaniard, a was impressed.
We searched open table fairly last minute and found Mundaka to be open for dinner at the time we were looking for. It also gave us an opportunity to try out a new place in Carmel. After a brief confusion at where it was (Apple maps had it on the wrong side of the street). We found it in the little courtyard. What a great little spot! The ambiance was really beat with he led lights that rotated colours. We didn't have kids with us, but saw a family with their two boys and both me and hubby agreed we would take our kids here. He got a beer and I got a "party wine". Hysterical. Our waiter was awesome and he brought my party wine with a flair! We decided to get 4 plates as there was just the 2 of us. It was the perfect amount of food for us. Can't wait to go back again!
We love this place. The servers are always knowledgeable and the menu changes seasonally.