Comal is upscale Mexican at its best: awesome tamales, ceviche, and enchiladas with sauces that took 5-7 hours to make. The cocktails are great, mezcal flows like water and the huge outdoor patio is perfection. There's a MARGARITA CART. Heaven in restaurant form, right?
Here's the catch. It's in Berkeley.
We do not spend very much time in Berkeley. We aren't in college, and we try to avoid journeys on BART unless we are being tricked or bribed with promises of menus entirely revolving around uni. Or to see Ed Sheeran at the Greek. But besides those rare occasions, we generally don't get there much. Comal is good enough to bring us there without any sort of coercion.
First of all, the food is consistently excellent across the board. The sauces and salsas are authentic and rich, the enchiladas aren't drowning in cheese, and the meatballs are the best Mexican take on them we've ever had. Everything is good to share, and some things are so good you may need to police people from taking more than their portion. Also, maybe stop being friends with that person if they try to eat all the ceviche. Sharing is caring.
Cocktails, also great. We're partial to the Palomaesque and/or a mezcal flight which is an excellent way to pregame Ed Sheeran.
Then there's the back patio. Where to begin with this magical place. There are fire pits, there is a cart and a lady pushes it around and you can get chips, salsa, beers and margaritas to your spot. If you are looking to grab drinks and snacks (there's a smaller menu for the outdoors), this is the best spot in all of Berkeley. It's a place you never want to leave.
So Comal, we'll definitely be back. The food alone is good enough to be worth the trek to Berkeley, even without being coerced. And we'll go for a cocktail or three. Gotta build up some liquid courage for the BART ride home.
You're at a Mexican restaurant. Don't ask questions, order this. Thick salty homemade chips with bomb salsas and guacamole.
A sizable bowl of spicy, cilantro-y white shrimp. Eat this.
Citrusy, salty awesomeness. The fresh peas make it taste even brighter. We dig.
Mexican meatballs that aren't to be missed. Super tender, and the rich adobo sauce is unreal. Sometimes we eat these first, eat a few more things, and get another order. They're that good. They come with house made tortillas with the intent of sopping up the sauce, which sounds good, but turns out to be somewhat technically unfeasible.
The filler meat varies, but the results are always delicious. We're partial to the duck option - so look out for that. Killer sauce, doesn't feel too heavy, and they don't skimp on the meat, whatever kind it may be.
There is a lot of mole sauce involved in this dish and we fully endorse it. We love this dish.
Good, not great al pastor tacos. The pork is decent but not wildly flavorful. Save your stomach room for everything else.