I've got a Confession to Make. Part 1.

Updated: Sep 23, 2019

I remember when I started using it. I was in my mid 20's and only a few people were talking about it. The word was that some people at ivy league universities started using it first and it was spreading like a wildfire. No one even talked about it as a drug. No one saw it coming.

The summer of 2005 was filled with early morning drives to Dayton, Virginia through the windy country roads between my home and the turkey processing plant. It was quite a nice change compared to that of the previous three 1/2 years driving up and down highway 81 where I got three speeding tickets from the same state trooper. I was working at Cargill in the HR/Payroll department sharing an office with Sandy Vandevandeer, the one who taught me the ropes in the latest payroll software of the time. It was a weird office arrangement in that 8x16 rectangular shaped room with no windows to the outside world. Sandy who'd been working for Cargill for many years used to sit right behind me on her desk having a full view of my computer screen. I had just been accepted to Eastern Mennonite University having transferred the credits I had accumulated from ITESM and JMU. I was one dedicated employee with my eyes in the goal of stepping up the ladder, providing for my family, and saving for the future as a result of my hard work combined with me obtaining a bachelor's degree,

I can't remember how I heard about this new fad but I do remember wanting in. I had to see what all the fuzz was about.

Immediately in the process of finding a taste of this drug I hit a wall. I didn't know the right people that would grant me access to it or did I? Turning the resourceful switch one, I asked myself if I knew anybody that could get me one step closer to the prize. I reached out to an intern from my last job who happened to attend an Ivy School and asked to be referred to the source.

Finally! I was in even though there were some restrictions for me to access it. I wasn't attending an Ivy school so I really didn't get to experience the whole shebang. But you know what they say, once you taste it once, it drags you in! Scientists have compared it to using crack.

I remained an active user at home, and sometimes I would hit it in between classes at EMU in the computer room. Thankfully not a lot of students were there at the times of me using it. I started checking in with past friendships when I found out they were too using it. In a matter of a year, the network grew to millions and faster than anybody could stop it, users from around the world were hooked.

When we moved to San Diego I thought I was done using it and I gave it up, only to use it again when Jo and I decided to open Cueva Bar. When we first arrived I had to get a job quickly. I couldn't use it at work anyway, and I was focused on preparing my launch into entrepreneurship. I needed to focus and use the time in a way that would help me execute with precision. Business ownership came faster than expected so I told Jo I would only use it a little bit and that it would help us put our name out there and get our business going. That didn't work. I only began using it based on a friend's suggestion. Honestly, it didn't take much for la Güera to convince me I needed to get on it if I wanted to see Cueva Bar succeed. It was the year 2010 and the variations of this drug were starting to pop out as the latest "Everyone is getting on it and talking about it"

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, have been good to me since 2002, and these social media platforms have been witness to many raw and real moments I shared with everyone as well as many efforts in marketing the tapas, wines, craft beers, specials, and events with those seeking for a good time, tasty food that satisfies the body and the soul, paired up with a drink of their choice like local craft beer, wines I personally select, and tap water.

(We don't offer sodas, or specialty soft drinks in our menu). Someone said a while ago "We make a couple of cups of coffee for the team throughout the day, and are happy to share a cup with you". Through collaborative team efforts, we always have ground coffee or coffee beans for us to prepare a pot of Joe.

I wish there was a restaurant fairy that could pop out thin air and help me find the direction to solve these questions but I don't have Dorothy's shoes or Harry Potter's wand. Maybe the name our business "Cueva" creates this energy around it that it actually makes it like an actual cave. Is it easy to find caves? I don't think so. Aren't caves only known and found by a few? Was that the case with the cave of wonders in the movie Aladdin?

What I do know from personal experience is that there are ideas, sometimes in the form of tunes that just appear in my mind and they feel good, I feel connected, they're raw, unfiltered thoughts filled with good vibrations and energy of love:

To be continued...

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 purely human relationship fostered by those who dine in the all are welcomed University Heights neighborhood gem.

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

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

Our happy hour is from Tuesday to Saturday from 4 pm to 6 pm. Happy hour offerings are $2 off all food on the 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!


TEL 619-269-6612

2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116


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