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

October News from Comal

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Holiday Season is Approaching…

With the days growing shorter and autumn in the air, it’s time to start planning holiday parties.  Whether for business or family and friends, Comal has two great options for your holiday gathering – Table 30 and Abajo.

Table 30 is our community table inside the restaurant’s main dining room – it seats 8-11 people on long benches.  Our cozy private dining room – Abajo – is located in our cellar and seats 12-22 people.  In both cases, we offer a multi-course, fixed price menu served family style.  We can also craft special, custom cocktails for Abajo parties with personalized names to match.

Here are sample menus for Table 30 and Abajo

september-76 copy
Abajo

Dates are filling up fast, particularly in December, so we encourage you to contact us soon.  For further information or to inquire about available dates for either of our group dining options, email us at info@comalberkeley.com.

Oaxacan Harvest Dinner with Copala Organics at Comal

Speaking of Abajo, a few tickets are still available for next week’s Oaxacan Harvest Dinner with Copala Organics.  Copala supplies Comal with a variety of hard to find, distinctly Oaxacan chiles, herbs and vegetables, many of which are grown by Francisco de Jesús López of Francisco’s Oaxacan Organic Farm.

On Tuesday, October 8th, Comal will welcome Francisco and Copala founder Adam Sanders for a multi-course dinner prepared by executive chef Matt Gandin, showcasing some of these Oaxacan specialties: papalo, quintonil, costeño chiles, chilhuacle chiles, chiles de agua, verdolagas and huicha squash.  Chef Gandin’s dishes will be paired with wines drawn from Comal’s list, selected by wine director Corin Weihemuller for the occasion.

Details:

DATE/TIME:  Tuesday, October 8th at 6:30 PM

PRICE: Tickets are $90 inclusive of food, wine and gratuity

RESERVATIONS:  Space is limited – to purchase tickets, follow this link: http://www.ticketfly.com/event/367891

ADDRESS:  Comal is located at 2020 Shattuck Avenue (at University Avenue) in Berkeley

WEBSITE & TELEPHONE: http://www.comalberkeley.com – 510.926.6300

Dinner Menu: 

Heirloom tomatoes pickled costeño chiles, requeson, verdolagas

2012 Rosé, Arnot-Roberts “Luchsinger Vineyard” Clear Lake

Local halibut crudo papalo, chile de agua salsa

2011 Napa Valley White, Matthiasson

White bean-quintonil soup

2011 Chardonnay, Le P’tit Paysan, “Jack’s Hill” Monterey County

Turkey and huicha squash tamal chilhuacle mole negro

2012 Cabernet Franc, Broc Cellars, Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara

Oaxacan chocolate budin whipped crema




Susana Trilling’s Visit to Comal

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

We recently hosted renowned Mexican chef and cookbook author Susana Trilling for a special daytime cooking class at Comal.  The class focused on Oaxaca, the region closest to Susana’s heart – she’s written two books about Oaxacan cuisine: Seasons of My Heart and My Search for the Seventh Mole.

Susana demonstrated several classic dishes, including memelas with mushroom “ceviche”, crema de chayote, barbacoa de pollo, arroz con chepil and budin de chocolate Oaxaquena.  As she prepared the dishes, Susana shared numerous anecdotes and stories about Oaxacan food and culture.

After watching Susana prepare the various dishes, everyone sat down for a family style meal so that they could taste each dish.  Ryan Fitzgerald from Del Maguey dropped by with a bottle of Santo Domingo Albarradas mezcal, which he shared with everyone in Del Maguey’s signature “copitas” – small clay sipping cups.

In all, an enlightening, informative and delicious way to spend a few hours!  Thanks to Susana and Ryan for sharing their love of Oaxacan food and drink…

Thanks to Robert Trachtenberg and Sigrid Laing for the photos (below).

JP

Preparing the barbacoa de pollo                                               Warming the banana leaf

                                         

From left to right:  (1) Sprinkling some queso fresco on a memela;  (2) a completed memela;   (3) Del Maguey Santo Domingo Albarradas served in clay “copitas” – also hibiscus agua fresca in the background.


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New Year’s Eve Dance Party at Comal

Friday, December 7th, 2012

BUY TICKETS

For one night only this New Year’s Eve, Comal will clear out the tables, turn up the volume on our Meyer sound system and transform from a traditional sit-down restaurant into a dancehall.  Doors will open at 9pm and longtime Bay Area DJ Jose Ruiz (KPFA, KPOO), who is becoming a fixture at Comal these days, will spin his infectious mix of Latin and Funk into the wee hours.

Chef Matt Gandin and his team will keep a steady stream of antojitos (little snacks) flowing out of the kitchen throughout the night – expect some familiar items from Comal’s menu along with a few wild cards, with an emphasis on Oaxacan-style street snacks like quesadillas, de eses, tlayudas and more.

Tickets are $25 in advance ($30 cash at the door) and include all food offerings.  Advance tickets are strongly recommended, and can be purchased at http://comalnye.brownpapertickets.com/ or in person at Comal any night after 5pm starting on December 11th.

Bartender Matt Campbell will be twisting up a special NYE cocktail, which will be available for purchase along with Comal’s current list of craft cocktails, draft beer and wine and deep selection of tequila and mezcal.

Time – 9pm – 1:30am
Cost – $25 advance, $30 cash at door (includes food – drinks purchased separately)

Special Note – BART is open until 3am on NYE.   Comal is less than a block from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.

Abajo Now Open
Also, a reminder that Abajo, our new private dining room, is now up and running. It’s a great place for a holiday party, business dinner, birthday party or any other large group gathering. We can accommodate 12-22 people. Please click here for more information.

Stay tuned to our website (comalberkeley.com) and our regularly updated Facebook page and Twitter feed for more updates in the coming days and weeks.

We hope to see you soon at Comal!




November News

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

Since we opened at the beginning of the dry season in May, it’s only been quite recently that we’ve had our first rains.  One of the defining features of Comal is our heated, covered patio with its own bar.  This feature was inspired in no small way by the covered patio at SF’s Foreign Cinema, one of the Bay Area’s most romantic spots, especially on a rainy night.  We wanted to put our own spin on what they have done so well at Foreign Cinema, and now that the rains are here we are happy to say it’s every bit the vibrant, cozy spot we hoped it would be on a rainy night (or any other night for that matter).  C’mon down this weekend and see for yourself!

Introducing Abajo

We are putting the final touches on Abajo, our new private dining room. It will seat up to 22 people at two long oak tables.  The dining room features a number of familiar design elements – hand blown glass pendants by local artisan Lee Miltier, table bases by Ferrous Studios, a lath wall using lath saved from the renovation and burlap wainscoting along with Meyer Sound loudspeakers.  Abajo is available for bookings starting on November 26 and is a great space for birthdays, holiday parties, business dinners and the like. Guests can customize a five course experience by choosing from a range of dishes, most created specifically for Abajo – click here to view the private dining menu options.

We also continue to offer our popular Table 30 dinners for groups of 8-10 people at our community table.  To view a sample menu, click here.

For full information regarding booking a gathering in our private dining room Abajo or a Table 30 Dinner, please click here.

New Menu Items, Cocktails and Beer
As we move further into fall and closer to winter, the food and cocktail menus continue to evolve.  Chef Matt has added a number of new dishes to the menu, including the following:

Bitter greens persimmons, pomegranates, spiced pepitas, Manchego

Ensalada picada  little gems, beets, avocado, goat feta, cilantro-yogurt vinaigrette

Quesadilla Hen of the woods mushrooms, epazote, habanero salsa

Tamal Fresh chepil, rajas, salsa ranchera  (this one is an enhanced version of our original chepil tamal)

Tlayuda Smashed garbanzo beans, gypsy peppers, zucchini, quesillo

We also have two new cocktails with strong autumnal leanings:

Rio Otoño Calle 23 Reposado, Hidalgo Olorosso sherry, St. Germain, pumpkin seed bitters

Manzanita Centenario Reposado, Becherovka, apple-fennel sour, ginger beer

There are also some new faces on the tap beer list, including a Drakes Black Robusto Porter, an Iron Springs Kent Lake Kölsch and a Green Flash West Coast IPA.

Some of these menu items stick around for a while, others come and go quickly – stay tuned to Twitter and FB for timely updates.

DJ Jose Ruiz

Those of you who have joined us on a recent Friday night may have noted our friend Jose on the patio spinning songs from his vast music collection.  A longtime DJ on local radio stations KPFA and KPOO, he draws from all over Latin America and beyond, from traditional stylings like cumbia and tango to modern, groove-oriented numbers.  So far, he’s been joining us on Friday nights starting around 8pm, weather permitting.  We’re hoping to add a second night sometime soon – stay tuned…

PS – he also painted the stunning “calaveras” on our front windows for Dia de los Muertos, and provided us with tasty Pan de Muerto from his local bakery Casa Latina.

Comal in the news

Popular Science on Comal’s Meyer Sound system

Comal in Diablo Magazine’s Best New Restaurants list

Palomaesque makes Tasting Table’s Best of 2012 list

Comal nabs a Michelin Bib Gourmand

Comal Blog 

We encourage you to tune in regularly to our very active blog.  The blog is updated several times a week with a variety of content – including more in depth explorations of new menu items, new cocktails, featured artists from our playlists, links to press about Comal, articles of interest from both local and national media, etc. It’s also a more reliable and definitive place to get the full scoop from Comal than Facebook.  We have also set up a thumbnail archive by month to allow easy perusal of past entries.  Here are a couple recent posts:

Comal Playlist Profile: Campo

Chef Matt on mushroom foraging and a new quesadilla

Gift Cards

We offer two options for Gift Cards – the first is the old fashioned variety, available only in person at Comal.  We also offer online Gift Cards via our website through Treatful – simply click on the Gift Cards link, choose the amount of the gift and take it from there.  You can also click through to Treatful from our Facebook page.

Stay tuned to our website (comalberkeley.com) and our regularly updated Facebook page and Twitter feed for more updates in the coming days and weeks.

We hope to see you soon at Comal!


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October News

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

As summer gives way to fall (or more accurately, to our “summer”), Comal is abuzz with activity.  Some highlights:

New Cocktails/menu items

Our food and drink menus are always gradually evolving.  In recent weeks we’ve been featuring a couple Oaxacan specialties: chepil tamales and a unique masa invention called a de ese.  Other recent highlights include an heirloom gazpacho with blue crab, beef tongue tacos, and a local albacore salad with charred gypsy peppers.  Some of these items stick around for a while, others come and go quickly – stay tuned to Twitter and FB for timely updates.

We added two new cocktails recently: El Chavo and La Buena.  We also added a delicious new sangrita amarilla along with a new flight that features our three house-made sangritas (verde, roja and amarilla).  Keep an eye out for more cocktail changes in the coming weeks.  El Burro and Agua con Carne have been retired from the cocktail list but are still available upon request.

Private Dining Room opening soon 

In the next few weeks we will be creating a private dining space down the front stairs in our basement.  The space will feature two long white oak tables similar to our low community table upstairs and will seat approx. 20-25 people.  We will be offering some special dishes for dinners in this space.  We will send out an announcement when we are ready to start taking reservations for this space and will share a sample menu soon as well.  We expect the room to be ready for action by early November.  Stay tuned!

Beer Garden Upgrades

We recently installed permanent gas patio heaters and an array of string lights around all the picnic tables at the beer garden.  These additions have transformed it into a cozy oasis, even when things cool down at night.  Whether at one of the picnic tables, on the small benches around our crape myrtle trees or sitting on the redwood log stools around the fire pit, it’s a great place to meet up for a drink with friends.

Comal Blog is live!

We continue to refine our website.  Recently we changed the look of our home page and most notably added a blog section.  The blog is updated several times a week with a variety of content – and the blog format allows us to offer more in-depth musings on new menu items, new cocktails, featured artists from our playlists, links to press about Comal, etc.  We have also set up a thumbnail archive by month to allow easy perusal of past entries.

Sunday Streets

On Sunday, October 14, a seventeen block stretch of Shattuck Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic – from Rose to Haste – from 11am-4pm.  Sunday Streets (or Open Streets) is a fast-growing movement, with over seventy events around the US in 2012.  With autos out of the picture, Shattuck will become a park of sorts for a few hours, with a variety of performances and other activities throughout the afternoon.  Comal will be opening early at 3pm on the 14th.  We’ll serve a limited menu until 5:30pm, when our regular dinner hours commence.

http://www.sundaystreetsberkeley.com/

Recent Press

Since our last email update, we’ve received several more favorable reviews, including the following:

Esquire

Contra Costa Times

Tablehopper

Oakland Magazine

Gift Cards

We offer two options for Gift Cards – the first is the old fashioned variety, available only in person at Comal.  We also offer online Gift Cards via our website through Treatful – simply click on the Gift Cards link, choose the amount of the gift and take it from there.  You can also click through to Treatful from our Facebook page.

We hope to see you soon at Comal!


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