Tag Archives: Meyer Sound

Bauer on Comal: A restaurant I would have opened

The restaurant's exterior patio is heated and has its own bar
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For Michael Bauer, the Chronicle’s restaurant critic, Comal, which opened in downtown Berkeley in early May, has achieved a flawless debut.

Bauer has nothing but praise for the food prepared by former Delfina chef de cuisine Matt Gandin, which he describes as being prepared with “a subtly fresh fanaticism.” He admires the impeccable service, the state-of-the-art acoustics, courtesy of Berkeley’s Meyer Sound, the “meticulously designed” interiors, and the cocktails — “some of the best  in the Bay Area.”

He awards the restaurant three stars overall, and in each of the three categories considered — food, service and atmosphere, which translates as all-round “Excellent”, and concludes that, had he ever started a restaurant, it would be this one: “Comal is exactly the type of place I’d have liked to open.” … Continue reading »

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Comal: New restaurant takes a bet on downtown Berkeley

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On Friday, John Paluska will throw open the heavy steel doors to his ambitious new restaurant, Comal, which he hopes will become a magnet for local residents and a cultural incubator. “I see it as a big tent that I hope will become the heart of the community,” he said last week as he stood in the expansive, airy space at 2020 Shattuck Avenue, overseeing a plethora of pre-launch preparations.

Comal will be cooking up Oaxaca-inspired Mexican food — masa-based dishes such as Tetelas, memelas, and tlayudas, whole grilled fish, chickens and fresh vegetables -much of it cooked on an Italian wood-burning range and two “comals” — large round griddles which take center stage in the restaurant’s open kitchen and, says Paluska, also serve to evoke the “hearth as gathering place” ambiance he is seeking to create there.

Chef Matt Gandin, formerly of Delfina in San Francisco, says he wants to explore the complexities of a cuisine that he feels is “waiting to be discovered”.

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More than 30 years of “thinking sound” in Berkeley

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Sound is life at the Meyer Sound facility on San Pablo. The 32-year-old Berkeley business continues to churn out professional sound products for concert halls, churches and traveling bands from around the world.

“We’re a family-run company, privately owned still,” said Helen Meyer, executive vice president of Meyer Sound. “We’re still private to this day. That’s kind of a unique feature of our company.”

I sat down with the Meyers to discuss sound, local lifestyles and new technologies.

CEO John Meyer founded the company in 1979 after he and Helen attended an inaudible Donovan concert at the Oakland Coliseum. When they sat down to take in the performance from one of their favorite folk singers, the couple soon realized they couldn’t hear a thing.

“It was barely louder than if someone was just there without anything,” John said. “Everyone in the audience was dead quiet and we still couldn’t hear. We said, ‘there’s got to be a better way.’ ” … Continue reading »

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