Carmel Magazine

CM SP16 Online Edition

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CARMEL'S BAR SCENE DRYING UP, BUT BARMEL FILLS THE VOID While Carmel has seen a proliferation of wine tasting rooms, the old watering hole has all but disappeared. With the closure of Jack London's Neighborhood Pub, followed by a quick exit for Brophy's Tavern, it's increasingly dif- ficult to find a place where everyone knows your name. What's left? There's Sade's, the unpolished haunt known as "the smallest bar in America," and Barmel, the less-civilized little sister to Mundaka, the Spanish food hotspot whose clientele spills over into its next-door drinkery. "We've filled a void, with a steady rise in busi- ness," says Mundaka Executive Chef Brandon Miller, who serves Barmel guests patatas bravas (fried potatoes with aioli), croquetas (fried ham- potato balls), chicharrones (crisped pork skin), chuleton (steak with herbed butter) and his popular burger of the day. When the Mundaka kitchen closes at 11pm, Barmel continues with sandwiches and chips for patrons until 2am. The cocktail program takes place behind a handsome bar once owned by legendar y madam/bootlegger Sally Stanford of Valhalla in Sausalito. Highlights include Town (vodka, creme de violette, St. Germain, lemon) and Country (rye, peach liqueur, cranberry, grapefruit bitters). Live music quickens the pulse of the place, bursting at the seams weekend nights. "We're having a lot of fun," Miller says. "Everyone is." Barmel is located on San Carlos Street & 7th Avenue in Carmel. 831/626-3400. FRESH HAWAIIAN BOWLS TO ORDER IN MONTEREY Joey Nguyen's Vietnamese parents always wanted him to become a doctor, but he shocked them by studying accounting. They recovered. Then he had to tell them he would shun the suit, tie and corner office to sell bowls of Hawaiian poke (pronounced "poh-kay"), the raw fish salad ubiquitous in the islands. That declaration became a poke in the eye with a pair of sharp chopstix, until they realized his degree would come in handy counting all the 160 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 6 Restaurateur Gabe Georis and Executive Chef Brandon Miller bring fun and food to Barmel, located next door to Mundaka in Carmel. Cocktails and live music make it a popular spot, especially as the local bar scene has nearly vanished. Photo: Kelli Uldall food for thought Bar mel Ser ves Thir sty Car mel Patrons; The Poke Lab Creates Fresh Seafood Bowls; and Wine and Tapas Come to Monterey B Y L A R R Y H A R L A N D

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