Chef Oz played for The Lakers?

Updated: Dec 19, 2019


Back in 1997-1998 I experienced a one in a lifetime experience. It was my first immersion to a culture I've only known through TV, a couple of my dad's work friends and the conversations amongst the adults in family and every cousin before me who had already been an exchange student. I knew I wanted to play basketball. That was it. My main goal besides improving my English language skills, was to experience playing basketball in the country that hosts the best basketball players in the world. Basketball I played, and not just as a member of the varsity team at Silver Lake Regional High School, but a a couple of summer tournaments held around Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Amongst other cultural adaptations I had to adapt to my eating schedule and habits as well as the diets of the two families who hosted me at their home for 6 months. The Toreys and The Donnellys were the two families who welcomed me into their homes. Both families very different from each other, and two very different lifestyles. The food though. #OMG Both households offered delicious family kept recipes on almost a daily basis. One ordered pizza more often than the other. While one watched sports the most, the other would catch the morning and night news 6 times a week. Whatever the case is that as a family they all made it work it in their own way. One thing they shared and had in common was that both families welcomed a total stranger from Mexico, and they both showed nothing but love and respect, and they all had the intention of helping me learn about the English language. They both were happy learning about me and showing me their culture and their ways. The food though. One mom host mom would make sure I had money for lunch and the other taught me how to prepare a sandwich with frozen bread so that it would be fresh by the time I ate it on the bus ride to the basketball game. I remember my team mate James the most. He would always have some interesting music playin on the discman.

At the end of the year I went back to Mexico with an appreciation for some of my firsts like marinara sauce, egg and cheese muffin sandwiches, tuna melts, Stop & Go, and learning how to get around Boston in the Subway thanks to the two friends who where there consistently showing me a foreigner around, and just being friends, even for just that year.


Cueva Bar is Chef Oz’s approach to the concept of Tapas with an essence of Mexican cuisine, known for continuous reinvention and embracing evolution, where food is prepared in a cozy, relaxed and inclusive atmosphere without the white table cloth element, just a pure human relationship fostered by those who dine in the all are welcomed University Heights neighborhood gem.

Letting inspiration flow and keeping balance in mind, Chef Oz marries Mexico’s ingredients and flavors with elements from around U.S and the world using local-organic produce and vendors to produce both delicious and healthy dishes that have little to zero impact in our environment.

Cueva Bar in San Diego California offers a fusion tapas inspired menu with plenty of omnivore, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options.

Our happy hour is from Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm to 6pm. Happy hour offerings are $2 off all food on menu and $3 off all drinks by the glass.


The team:

Jo: Co-founder/Corporate.

Oz: Co-founder/Executive Chef.

Mel: Sous Chef.

FOH: , Ghaidan

BOH: Patty, Nick


About the author:

I chef Oz write these blogs. I am a home cook gone pro when my wife Jo and I decided to open Cueva Bar, a fusion tapas bar and restaurant in San Diego California. I am passionate about offering a space where people gather for a good time, and to enjoy mindfully prepared tapas, made with love and passion by our culinary team. I'm all about inclusive peace, love, mutual respect, unity, kindness and compassion under the sun with liberty and justice for all.

Let tapas bring us together!

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TEL 619-269-6612

2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116

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