We heard some rumblings last week, and today Grub Street gets word that Comal (2020 Shattuck Avenue at University) is opening next Friday, joining a bunch of pending openings in this busy Bay Area spring. The new Oaxacan-focused restaurant from former Delfina chef de cuisine Matt Gandin promises to cover a number of regions of Mexico with its menu, with attention to carefully-sourced local ingredients and some allegedly exceptional masa. Also, the bar program is being created by the Bon Vivants, Scott Baird and Josh Harris, and it features a curated selection of sipping tequilas and mezcals, as well as seasonal sangrias and a Latin-focused cocktail list.
Gandin is no stranger to Mexican food despite his four years focused on Italian dishes at Delfina. He did graduate work in Latin American history and spent some time living in the Mexican state of Michoacán.
The new façade on the 85-year-old downtown Berkeley industrial building was designed by Trachtenberg Architects, and Richmond’s Ferrous Studios did some custom COR-TEN steel doors and windows to accent the look. Abueg Morris architects (Nopalito) oversaw the design, and it’s a huge space inside, with 3,000 square-feet of restaurant space with 140 seats, as well as a 2,500 square-foot patio with its own bar — half of which will be covered for year-round outdoor dining.
Look for some more details, photos, and a menu to surface next week.
Comal - 2020 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (at University) - Opening May 4