Duende is as much about art as it is about food. Exposed walls wear a chaotic mash of Raymond Saunders' pieces, the mezzanine is host to a rotation of local and touring bands, and the restaurant has a taste for the kind of rural, industrial art you might find if you were excavating the desert ruins of an old, rich city. Even Chef Paul Canales has been known to cook to live jazz, each maker playing off the other in a mutually creative exhibition. Improvisation is Duende's driving piston. Even the name points to the mischievous demon — disembodied genius and driving force of creation — that supposedly shows up when an artist is committed enough to die for his art. Duende peppers its calendar with shows by jazz acts, flamenco troupes, and various Bay Area musicians, offering a rare partnership of fine sherry and badass bands.
© 2018 East Bay Express