Monday, October 30th, 2017
Despite what its name implies, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a two-day event, celebrated on Nov 1st and 2nd each year. It is an opportunity to reflect on and send prayers to those who have passed away, and to connect with their spirits.
Our multi-talented DJ Jose Ruiz has once again graced our front windows with two matching calaveras painted with white tempura paint. As it happens, Jose’s regular Thursday night DJ slot falls on the second night of Dia de los Muertos, and he will again DJ a special set that focuses on songs that nod to the theme of death in some shape or form.
Jose Ruiz paints calaveras on Comal’s front windows
In addition to Jose’s calaveras, Comal is looking festive this week with strings of colorful, intricate papel picado (literally, “cut paper”) over the dining room and soon we will be lining the dining area with marigolds. The marigolds are a symbol of death, referred to as the “flower of the dead”. Marigolds are often sprinkled on Dia de los Muertos altars and also on graves, sometimes fashioned into elaborate arches. In some villages, people leave a trail of marigolds from their front door to their loved one’s grave, so that the deceased may easily find their way back home again. The attractive scent of the marigold is said to draw them back to earth for the yearly Dia de los Muertos reunion.
Papel picado hangs from the ceiling of Comal’s dining room
On Wednesday and Thurdsay nights, we will also be sending everyone home with a slice of pan de muerto, a special sweet egg bread adorned with “bones” on the top baked for Dia de los Muertos.
Group Dining at Comal
With the holidays fast approaching, Comal has two great options for gatherings of family and friends or business holiday parties – Table 30 and Abajo.
Table 30 is our community table in the front of the restaurant – it seats 8-11 people on long benches. Abajo is our cozy private dining room located in our cellar – it seats 12-22 people. In both cases we offer a multi-course, fixed price menu that can be tailored to the specific needs of your party. For Abajo, we have also created special custom cocktails for parties with names to match on several occasions.
Here are sample menus for Table 30 and Abajo
For further information and to inquire about available dates for either of our group dining options, contact us at email@example.com
Tuesday, October 17th, 2017
“In honor of Dia de los Muertos, the Berkeley eatery blossoms with hundreds of marigolds and hand-painted calavera window decorations. On the night of November 1, party into the night with DJ Jose Ruiz spinning a collection of “death-themed” Latin music.”
Click here to read the full article.
Thursday, August 24th, 2017
This past Friday night, a member our Comal family was brutally assaulted while returning home after his shift at work. Oscar Castaneda has been an important member of our line cook team for the past 2 years, bringing both valued skills and a smile to the job nightly.
After exiting the Ashby BART station, and only one block away from his apartment, two armed men jumped Oscar from behind, savagely punched and kicked him, robbed him of his possessions, discharged a bullet into the back of his neck and left him for dead. Oscar didn’t even know what had hit him. By a stroke of luck, the bullet lodged behind his ear while missing his spine, arteries and other vital organs. Thankfully there was a swift response from Berkeley police and paramedics that were called to the scene by concerned neighbors. Oscar received great care and after one day, has already been discharged from the hospital to begin what is expected to be a swift and complete recovery.
We often talk at lineup about the dangers that restaurant and bar workers face, leaving work late at night and alone, and the importance of having extra awareness of one’s surroundings when heading home. We’ve since learned that there were two similar assaults committed the previous Thursday night in the area around the Ashby BART station. It appears that the same two perpetrators have been preying on pedestrians that leave the station on foot alone at night. While Oscar has been told by the Berkeley Police that they know who the criminals are, they are as of now still not in custody.
It appears that Oscar was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Any of those among us in the restaurant and bar industry that work similar hours could have found ourselves targeted under similar circumstances, and perhaps not have been so lucky. It will be difficult for Oscar to overcome the psychological trauma, but he is committed to resuming the routine of his life prior to this shocking disruption. In regards to the more mundane hurdles, we are asking the restaurant community to help us rally around Oscar. He was stripped of his knife roll, backpack, phone and the contents of his wallet including a few hundred dollars, and is now facing some daunting medical bills to add insult to injury. We have set up a Go Fund Me page in his name, with the hopes that our restaurant industry friends will recognize that “there, but for the grace of God, go they”, and that they will help to lighten the burden for Oscar as he puts his life back together.