Disclosure: Meal was complimentary on behalf of my stay in Carmel by the Sea. All opinions and experiences are my own.
This past weekend I went on a beautiful weekend getaway to Carmel by the Sea in California. This quaint town, which began as an artist colony, is surrounded by 1 or 2 story buildings all with wooden signs hanging from them, and of course, no street addresses around.
Of all places to get away to, this is the place, with no addresses no one can find you right?
On Friday evening reservations were made for me at “Mundaka,” a spanish tapas restaurant right in town. This being my first experience with spanish tapas I had no idea what to expect.
They sat me at a nice two person table in the corner. These tables would make for a great date night. They also have a table underneath the stairs with a curtain, and when they come to serve your food they will knock before entering.
Movies are shown on one of the walls within the restaurant and on Friday evenings, this place is extremely popular making for a fun ambiance within the restaurant. BUT, it truly comes down to the servers making your experience even better.
Whether it’s your first time enjoying Spanish Tapas, or, like the gentlemen sitting next to me, who resided in Spain, the servers will make your experience great.
What exactly are Spanish Tapas?
The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover”. (Wikipedia.) However, tapas are referred to as appetizers or snacks. Tapas are there to encourage conversation over a meal where your focus isn’t so much on the food, but on others around you.
With the Tapas being bite size, they are perfect for sharing, but some meals are a little harder to do just that:
Such as the “Mini” lamb burger that comes out with truffle fries. The fries can easily be shared, but the mini burger is just that, really mini, and as the server said to me, “isn’t that just the cutest little burger ever?”
Other food to try:
Start out with one of the traditional plates such as the “Tortilla” made of Potatoes, Onion, Egg and Sea Salt. Goes down smooth with a nice glass of Red Sangria, one of the most authentic Sangrias I’ve had.
That evening I also tried the Fried Garbanzos being that I’m such a huge fan of garbanzos and hummus:
A few things I learned that evening during my first “Tapas” experience:
1) To order just a few plates at a time.
Try out those dishes, enjoy, converse, enjoy the company around you then order something else off the menu.
2) Red Sangria is really good if done right, and Mundaka has it done right.
3) The Titles of the Menu headings were definitely in Spanish, so although I didn’t always know what I was ordering, I let go for the evening, and just chose what looked good to me, and let me tell you, that’s the best way to do it!
4) Tapas Restaurants really bring out the community. Meaning, it was okay to converse with your neighbors, ask questions to the servers and have a fun time.
5) and last but not least: Mundaka was a GREAT place for my first Spanish Tapas experience.
And one last thing: Don’t forget to order dessert. Trust me: it’s excellent! No photos for that as it was too dark, and I gobbled it up too quick.
San Carlos Street between Ocean and 7th Avenues; Carmel, CA 93921
Mundaka is a Spanish style tapas restaurant in downtown Carmel, CA. It is the result of great friendships, a love of food and wine and music, and a long term romance with Spain and its culture. Open in March 2009, Mundaka continues to evolve daily with the creations of our chef Brandon Miller, and the musical musings of all our talented contributors.
And yes, I’ll be doing this again. It was a great restaurant experience.