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photo credit: Annie Goldenburg

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Carmel

Mediterranean

Fairfax

$$$$Perfect For:Birthdays
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Let’s start with the positives about Carmel: The food at this upscale Mediterranean spot on Melrose (formerly Village Idiot, RIP) is mostly good. Our last visit included a delicious whole branzino topped with herby salad, a tiny block of feta covered in chili crisp, and charred, pillowy Moroccan-style flatbread. Unfortunately, the restaurant itself is a bit of a mess. The dining room is filled with wobbly, awkwardly spaced tables, music thumps so loud you can barely hear anyone at your table, and you have to get past a bouncer behind a velvet rope to get inside. The whole experience feels like someone turned up the lights at a nightclub and decided to sell $40 entrees. There’s potential here—at least in terms of food—but until Carmel figures out what kind of restaurant it is, there’s no need to prioritize.

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