Orinda Theatre Square Welcomes New Eatery Comelones Tacos

(Jeff Heyman, Photographer0
Partners John Batesting and Eric Galindo of Orinda Theater’s Square’s newest eatery, Comelones Tacos, opened its eatery Dec. 2. Pictured is Héctor Edison Montes Lopez (L) and Mariane Paulina Montes Galindo (R), Galindo’s cousin and sister respectively.

    Authentic Mexican food has come to Orinda Theatre Square with the opening of Comelones Tacos. The restaurant, which opened Dec. 2, 2022, serves up a variety of protein options in their dishes and the owners look forward to serving the community food that balances quality with its affordable price point.
    Comelones Tacos occupies the space which formerly housed Lava Pit Hawaiian Grill, at 2 Theatre Square, Suite 142. “Comelones” translates from Spanish to “eaters” in English.
    “We thought that this would be a really great location,” said John Batesting, noting the support of neighboring businesses.
    Batesting, along with restaurant partner Eric Galindo, had been trying to open the restaurant for some time, but the main issue was finding a location. The lease for Comelones was signed in Sept. 2020. At that time there were shortages of supplies, such as stainless steel, which delayed construction, according to Galindo. Batesting said the paperwork required to start the business also took a long time.
    Comelones held a grand opening event on Dec. 10, offering two free tacos or a five-dollar burrito.
    Galindo is no stranger to the food service industry, as his parents run El Trompudo Taco Shop in El Sobrante and other family members operate food trucks.
    “Eric has been in the taco game for most of his life,” said Batesting. Comelones Tacos in Orinda is the first location, but the two would like to open more locations in the future.
    For the duo, the balance of quality and price is the key to success. “We like making really great food [with] fair pricing,” said Batesting, noting “a lot of really great food in the Bay Area is really hard to discover.”
    Galindo echoed his partner. “If [you’ve] got good food but it’s really expensive, people might only eat it once a week,” he said.
    The menu features five main dishes with seven protein options. Batesting said the restaurant likes to “keep it very simple” when it comes to their offerings.
    Nacho fries, tacos, quesadillas, burritos and tortas can all be ordered with a choice of meat: asada (steak); pollo (chicken); adobada (grilled pork and onions); carnitas (pulled pork) served with a fermented Salvadoran cabbage slaw; birria (stewed beef with chilis); chorizo (spicy pork sausage); and soy chorizo.
    Sides include fries, chips and salsa or rice and beans. Prices for dishes range from $3 for a single taco to $12 for larger items. Fresh toppings include pico de gallo, salsa, sour cream, cheese, cilantro and onions. The restaurant now offers in-house pickled jalapenos and carrots. Catering options are listed on its Facebook page.
    “All of our customers leave full and happy,” said Batesting.
    According to their Yelp page, the food at Comelones comes from original family recipes, including some from Galindo’s mother. The taco shop currently has a small menu, but the owners plan to add to its offerings slowly.
    The duo would like to introduce more vegan options, such as jackfruit, in the future. The restaurant is also hoping to obtain a beer license by summer, said Galindo, who mentioned the idea of “Mexican mimosas” as a possibility.
    “The community’s really pushing for us to be successful here,” said Galindo.
    Comelones Tacos is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Customers can place orders for delivery via DoorDash.

Andrea Madison can be reached at drea.madison.05@gmail.com.


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