A barnlike space full of cheerful Mexican tiles and folk-art masks, Picante is a find for anyone seeking good, Cal-Mex food for a song. The masa is freshly ground for the tortillas and tamales (it's fun to watch the tamale maker in action), the salsas are complex, and the flavor combinations are inventive. Try tamales filled with butternut squash and chilies or a simple taco of roasted poblanos and sautéed onions; we challenge you to finish a plate of supernachos. Picante is beloved of Berkeley families with raucous children, as they fit right in to the festival-like atmosphere and are happily distracted by the fountain on the back patio.
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