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“OK at best”
Review of Comal

Comal
Ranked #15 of 700 Restaurants in Berkeley
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Mexican, Latin, Spanish
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Families with children, Bar scene, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
413 reviews
257 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
“OK at best”
Reviewed February 23, 2013

so we knew comal was popular and on a sunday evening the wait was an hour. decent text message system to let us know it is our time. the restaurant holds alot of people without feeling squeezed especially at the tables. the bathroom system is very different with the sinks separated from multiple individual restrooms. i actually like this system. the wait staff was very competent. the food was average. let's just say if you really want mexican food you are probably better off at one of the taco trucks that are much more authentic. of course comal is not saying it is authentic but rather the twist of using the locally sourced, natural ingredients. despite this my take on food is the taste no matter the venue from $ to $$$$ as well as the value. we are a family of 4, all adults with no drinks ordered. our meal before taxes and tips was $81. we had the chips with guacamole and salsa. i couldn't discern if the chips were made on site or not, the 3 salsas were actually very good while the guacamole i feel is subpar. essentially anybody that makes their own guacamole probably makes a better guacamole than any restuarant. the other food we ordered were the carnitas tacos and the carnitas enchiladas. the presentation was great and the ingredients were also good but i felt the taste was lacking. the guajillo adobo spareribs, while not inexpensive, is a large serving. not exactly what you would expect as "mexican" but the best dish we ordered. i will say that it tastes better fresh from the kitchen because the leftover ribs we brought home definitely showed their sodium content, an issue with other reviewers. overall i would say i was disappointed with the food. obviously this won't prevent people from packing the place, but then again i'm sure alot of them wouldn't consider trying a taco truck in a neighborhood they probably would never venture to.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank flashncrash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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169 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Berkeley, California
Level Contributor
156 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Answer "Yes"”
Reviewed February 2, 2013 via mobile

Berkeley is a foodie town where conversations turn quickly to new restaurants, menus, food carts, farmers markets. One of the most popular questions is "have you eaten at XXX, what do you think?" This past year, Comal, has been the foodie's most asked about restaurant. It's a big place but cleverly designed and spaced so you have to really look to see how many diners are occupying tables. Food is gourmet Mexican (e.g. Quesadilla with duck). I like it as it's tasty and not over the top price wise. The food critics rave about it. Service is a bit quirky. There are no reservations for small parties, so be prepared to wait in the bar or on the street. Drinks are good so bar is a better option. When seated the wait staff will offer menus, water, bring drinks, take order, and then disappear. Runners from the kitchen will bring the food. Wait staff reappears when it's time for dessert or bringing the bill. If you are on you own or a couple, there are seats in the bar area that have a great view of the kitchen.

Helpful?
1 Thank ggobob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Bc
Level Contributor
154 reviews
99 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Not your average margarita joint”
Reviewed January 30, 2013

We were very happy with everything at Comal (except the hard chairs/benches). The drink menu was really innovative and our server (who was great) guided us through the drinks, giving us good advice on which ones paired better with food, what some of the ingredients were, etc. The food itself was tasty and varied, and we didn't feel rushed, even on a Saturday evening. Although we sat inside, the outdoor patio at the back looked like a great place to come in warmer weather.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Buttners
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Good food, poor service”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

The food is really good. The service is unprofessional, if friendly. Our waitress couldn't explain items on the menu without trips to the kitchen. However, it was the rude and officious ladies at the front desk who ruined the whole dining experience.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Susan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
98 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Worth a trip to Berkeley!”
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Comal is an amazing Mexican restaurant in the heart of Berkeley. Vibrant bar with the best margaritas ever and fresh, innovative food at amazing prices-worth the wait-have a drink on the lovely back patio!

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Catherine D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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