On Friday we brought you the menu from brand new Berkeley Mexican place Comal (2020 Shattuck Avenue), which is helmed by former Delfina chef de cuisine Matt Gandin and which has a focus on Oaxacan food in particular. The owner, John Paluska, is a first-time restaurateur who spent two decades as the manager for the band Phish, and he envisions the restaurant as becoming a "community hub" as well as a destination for good food. Now that they've got opening weekend and Cinco de Mayo behind them, we bring you some photos of the transformed 85-year-old industrial building, which previously had not been a restaurant.
The name "comal" refers to a cast-iron or sometimes ceramic griddle used for making tortillas, and Gandin has a big wood-fired hearth in the space too.
The only thing not pictured here is the large, 2,500-square-foot patio with its own bar, half of which will be covered for year-round outdoor dining. That's because it isn't open yet, but it should be opening within a couple of weeks.
Comal - 2020 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley (at University) - 510.926.6300 - Open nightly 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.