Best scandal, surf spot, place to eavesdrop and more.
Best clubs, bartenders, local artist, band and more.
Best restaurants by city, cheap eats and best restaurant of the county!
Best coffee shop, best bakery and more.
Best places to shop, best plumber and more.
Our picks for the sometimes less obvious winners.
Best Bartender (2012)
701 Wave St., Monterey
There are few folks in the area who have achieved one-name fame: Leon. Clint. Big Mike. The latter’s been making flat-out exceptional cocktails (like the blue sardine) and setting the tone at the Sardine Factory (take the hat off) since the ’60s. The difference between Mr. Panetta, Mr. Eastwood and Mr. Kolpaczyk: Big Mike doesn’t make sure to say hi to the other two when he visits their restaurants. “It’s not just making a drink,” Sardine Factory co-founder Bert Cutino says. “Personality has to be part of it. Mike is the big guy. Everybody loves him.”