2020 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley CA, 94704 (510) 926.6300
Sunday thru Thursday 5:30-10pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30-11pm
Front bar opens at 5pm nightly
Sunday thru Thursday 5:30-10pm
Friday & Saturday 5:30-11pm
Front bar opens at 5pm nightly

Comal's Jack Satan cocktail included in Bold Italic's list of "Seven Spicy Cocktails that Prove it's Hotter in the East Bay"

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Click here to read the full article.

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New Cocktail: Knock on Wood

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

DSCF0481Chief Barman Matthew Campbell has been busy as of late.  Recently added cocktail “Summer Camp” is a big hit, and fast on its heels is his latest: Knock on Wood.  The name is a reference to the wood barrels used for aging the Zaya twelve-year rum that is the centerpiece of the drink, but we believe that consuming this cocktail will likely preserve good fortune much like the age-old superstition from which it derives its name.

Without further ado, Matthew’s notes:

This drink is the product of a hypothetical question: Could chile/heat/spice be incorporated into a stirred cocktail to good effect?  We’ve had success with spicy cocktails of course, and with agave-spirit stirred drinks that act like our favorite whiskey classics.  The two did not seem mutually exclusive; we just hadn’t gone down that road yet.   

Ancho (roasted poblano) seemed the perfect chile as it had a mellow heat and smoky, cooked sweetness reminiscent of whiskey.  Apricots and orange peels were added to round out this house-made ancho liquor as I wanted the finished drink to have a depth of mid-palate that often comes with Curaçao.

We recently added Zucca Rabarbaro Amaro (rhubarb bitters) to our pantry because it’s delicious and we knew it would find a home in one of our cocktails before long.  Dolin blanc is a dry vermouth with a floral nose and a dry sherry-like finish.  It adds front-end brightness and long oxidized, nutty finish.

 I have loved Zaya since they began distilling in Venezuela some years ago.  Now produced in Trinidad, the Gran Reserva is aged 12 years on American oak (bourbon barrels) – toasted, caramel, vanilla, etc…  All in all, a perfect spirit for a whiskey-esque stirred drink with Mexican accents (heat).



Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Tevye, the protagonist from “Fiddler on the Roof”, extolls the importance of preserving old traditions in Jewish cultural life.   Of course that doesn’t mean that new traditions can’t be established as well.  Another year has passed, and as spring comes around we prepare to host our 2nd annual Mexican Passover Seder at Comal.

There will be a few new twists to the menu this year, but the Jalapeño Matzo Balls and Beef Brisket braised in ancho chile adobo are back due to popular demand – as is the tequila-cured salmon.

We will once again be following the more liberal Sephardic tradition that allows for corn, beans and rice.  It will be a fun, secular celebration, a cultural mash up.  There will be no Hagaddahs, and the dinner will not be kosher (meat and dairy will be served), but it will be both festive and delicious.

We welcome you to gather around the Seder plate and help to enrich this young Comal family tradition. Last year’s dinners both sold out in advance, so we encourage you to pick up tickets sooner than later if you’re planning to join us.

Here’s a link to the official announcement with menu details, ticket info, etc – hope to see you there!


Matzoh balls
Caldo de Pollo jalepeño matzo balls

Tequila-cured Salmon avocado, endive, radish, cilantro oil

Jalapeño Matzo Balls and Beef Brisket in Adobo: Comal to Host Second Annual Mexican-inspired Passover Seders

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Following on the heels of two sold-out dinners last year, Comal will again mark the first two nights of Passover – Monday, April 14 and Tuesday, April 15 – with multi-course family-style dinners in their intimate private dining room, Abajo. Executive Chef Matt Gandin has created a menu in his signature Mexican style that riffs on traditional Passover dishes.  Dinners will follow the more liberal Sephardic traditions, incorporating rice, beans and corn into the meal, and will forego haggadahs for lively conversation at the communal table.

The dinners will start promptly at 6:30PM. Seating is limited to twenty-two diners each night.  Tickets are $60 per person (inclusive of gratuity but exclusive of beverages) and can be purchased by clicking on one of these links:

April 14 – http://www.ticketfly.com/event/523565-second-annual-passover-dinner-berkeley/
April 15 – http://www.ticketfly.com/event/523663-second-annual-passover-dinner-berkeley/

Passover Seder Menu

Guacamole with chips & three salsas
Sikil Pak toasted pumpkin seeds, grilled eggplant, habanero
Jicama & Cucumber chile arbol, lime

Tequila-cured Salmon avocado, endive, radish, cilantro oil

Goat Birria Quesadilla Anaheim chiles

Caldo de Pollo jalapeño matzo balls

Beef Brisket in Adobo carrots, raisins, peanut-chile arbol salsa,
mustard greens

Achiote rice
Midnight black beans de olla
House-made tortillas

Mandarin Raspado whipped crema, almond shortbread

SF Weekly's Lou Bustamante includes Comal in a recent article about synergies between kitchen and bar:

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Click here to read the full article.


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