Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine HO15

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Page 164 of 211

finest restaurant, a cultural experience that leaves diners singing Yamada's praises. The specials board details the magic: floun- der chunks rolled in panko, fried until crisp, and served inside a fried skeleton he bends into a bowl; balone sashimi, local spot prawns plucked live from a tank; bluefin tuna, sea urchin and Spanish mackerel flown in from Tokyo. Vegetarians enjoy silky housemade tofu paired with braised kelp, or Yamada's fried yam, potato and corn "croquette." Akaoni has no website or Facebook page. Marketing is minimal. Yamada does things his way, and diners show up in eager appreciation of that serious dedication toward his craft. Akaoni, 6th Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel. 831/620-1516 LAST BITES Melville's Tavern (formerly Santa Lucia Café) promises a casual pub atmosphere and brick-oven cuisine…Trailside Café in Carmel Valley added "Beer Garden" to its name, with a shady backyard spot delighting beer drinkers…Carmel's Il Grillo serves gluten-free pasta that passed the taste test of Italian-born owner Emanuele Bartolini…Mundaka Café has opened with a European vibe, serving breakfast bites and Verve coffee. Mundaka Café opened recently in Carmel, next to Mundaka Restaurant. Barista Bodhi Spring- f ield (left) and manager Spencer Chaffin serve hot Verve coffee and delicious pastries. C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • H O L I D A Y 2 0 1 5 163 Photo: Kelli Uldall

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