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!
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
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:
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!
We have a number of special touches coming together to celebrate Dia de los Muertos Thursday and Friday of this week. Our good friend Jose Ruiz came by recently and painted two stunning skulls on the windows that flank our front door. Our staff has been bringing in photos and other mementos of loved ones who have passed away this week – today we will be building an altar on the patio with these items.
Jose runs Casa Latina, a panaderia and cafe on San Pablo – one of their specialties is Pan de Muertos, a special sweet egg bread adorned with “bones” on the top baked for Dia de los Muertos. We will be sending everyone home with a piece of Pan de Muerto tonight and tomorrow night. We will also be adding other decorations throughout the restaurant, including marigolds and sugar skulls. We are quickly learning that Jose is a man of many talents – on Friday he will be DJing starting at 8pm in what is becoming a regular occurrence at this point. This week he will be playing songs that nod to the theme of death in one way or another.
Dia de los Muertos strikes me as a very different kind of holiday than any “American” holidays. While there are spiritual aspects to Thanksgiving and Christmas, much of the original intent of both holidays (especially Christmas) has been lost. While there is a colorful, festive aspect to Dia de los Muertos, at its essence it is a deeply intimate and personal event that speaks to the close connection to the spiritual world that is still alive and well in Mexican culture. The altars are constructed to encourage visits by the souls of those departed, so that they might hear prayers and other remembrances.
We look forward to seeing many of you over the next couple nights as we mark this special occasion!