From Amateur Cook to Mindful Professional Chef.
Since opening its doors in October 2010, Cueva Bar (2123 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA) has grown from a fledgling restaurant into a thriving neighborhood eatery. Located in San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood, the family-owned Cueva Bar has an eclectic menu specializing in tapas and food pairings with local craft beers and Latin American wines. The menu includes options for a variety of diets, including meat, seafood, vegan and gluten free dishes.
“Joanna and I are so proud to look back on the last six years and see all that we have have accomplished,” says Osvaldo Blackaller, chef and owner of Cueva Bar. “We had just moved to San Diego six months before opening Cueva. I came from Mexico, Joanna from the East Coast. We had no restaurant experience...only a dream fueled by passion and love. It was a tough fight to survive in a recessionary economy, but we did it. We are extremely grateful to our community for supporting us and look forward to many more years of giving back.”
Chef Oz taught himself to cook as a young boy growing up in Monclova, Mexico. Without culinary rules to constrain him, his creativity flourished. After years cooking for friends and family in the U.S. and Mexico, Oz and his wife Joanna turned the idea for Cueva Bar into a plan.
The menu is a compilation of multi-cultural dishes inspired by old family recipes and Oz’s varied background – consisting of Mexican roots with touches of the East Coast, southern U.S. and Argentina. It is constantly evolving as Chef Oz pushes the boundaries and explores unique flavor combinations.
“My desire is to create dishes that excite the palate and start conversations. I want to change people's minds about the foods they don’t like. I also wholeheartedly believe that the vibe of the kitchen enters the food, so my kitchen is peaceful. There is respect amongst all team members, and every dish is prepared with mindfulness and love.”
Chef Obed now brings an extra punch of Mexican flavors and creativity with roots from his hometown of Tijuana, B.C. You can taste his creations from weekly specials, to dishes rotating in Cueva Bar's regular menu.
Cueva Bar gives back to the community through non-profit organizations such as Ocean Discovery Institute, the San Ysidro Health Center, San Diego Food Bank, San Diego County Bar Foundation, and Dining Out for Life. Oz and Joanna also host a variety of special events in conjunction with other local establishments, such as Meatless Mondays, Breakfast for Dinner with Modern Times Brewery, or La Serenissima, a Venetian inspired five course wine pairing dinner, a collaboration between Chef Oz and a University Heights neighbor.