Delicious spreads at MRK Public in San Clemente


MRK Public’s chicken wings weren’t too spicy, but they were finger licking gold.  (Photograph Niko LaBarbera)

Finally there’s a fairly priced and quality meal hand delivered by your local chefs. MRK Public recently found its home in south San Clemente nestled on a quaint corner of El Camino Real.

Utilizing a small amount of square footage, MRK Public feels spacious, modern and earthy. The lone television screen played Buster Keatons “The General,” a 1926 silent film which was aesthetically significant during the MRK Public experience.


This Vietnamese sandwich was oozing with fully-flavored ingredients.  (Photograph Niko LaBarbera)

The menu is written in chalk and serves as a mistletoe for the kitchen, where customers will find Rayne Frey and Moriah Robinson cooking their meals. The menu offers an eclectic selection of beer, wine and food for a diverse crowd.

Don’t go thinking that because it is counter service dining that there is only a quick exchange between you and the employees. The service at MRK Public is memorable because the employees are willing to engage in a genuine conversation. Your interaction doesn’t end after an exchange of money, waiters are consistently checking up on your table.

After ordering, patrons make their way to a spot either inside or outside on a heated patio.

A friendly face will come to bring water, poured from a personal glass water jug that resembles something from a picnic basket.


This sandwich was garnished with a refreshing salad and brought a taste of the South to San Clemente.  (Photographer Niko LaBarbera)


standout menu item was the Bánh Mì, which came with either chicken, beef belly or mushroom. The uniqueness of the sandwich lies in the zesty aioli sauce.

The flavor-packed sandwich might bring memories of Vietnam back to those who have visited the South East Asian country. This dish was heavily influenced by the French, who had a controlling presence in this region through- out the mid-20th century.

The dishes may seem like basic menu items, but customers will be pleasantly surprised when they see the quality of food that has arrived at the table. Each plate was beautifully garnished and sophisticated.

MRK Public doesn’t try to be a superior restaurant for a select demographic.

The food and service was worthy of writing home about.