Don’t worry, assure owners Benos Bustamante and Francois Abadie. Aside from the name, nothing is changing about the restaurant they opened in September.
Then why is Comal now Conmole?
The answer lies in a project set to launch later this year: retail sales of the restaurant’s mole sauces. Based on old family recipes from Oaxaca, those moles have already developed a following in the few months the restaurant has been open. Even chefs swoon. When asked to name the best thing they ate in all of 2019, two chefs – Loren Mendosa (Lampo, Prime 109) and Jose de Brito (Fleurie, Petit Pois) – named a mole from Conmole.
Given the reception the moles have received, the restaurant is now working on plans to package and sell them, which it hopes to do by the end of the year. Not takeout restaurant orders, but retail sales of the sauces themselves. In anticipation, the owners have renamed the restaurant. For Bustamante, the sentimentality of the word “Comal” made the change difficult. A comal is a tortilla griddle, and the image of his grandmother’s is a treasured childhood memory. But, the change was necessary, Bustamante says. With retail sales on the horizon, the new moniker will avoid potential trademark issues with other businesses named Comal, while also providing an appealing brand name to sell moles.