This fish, fresh fish, these fish, stinky fish

(Updated 8/16/21)

Global warming is backed by science, and I believe in science therefore I believe in the warnings the world community of scientists is putting out there. Scientists at NASA also say we live in a world that goes through stages and even though the warming issue is a natural phenomenon, our human activities are directly correlated to the increasing rate of temperature in our planet. I've read and learned that supporting a local economy is just one of the few things we can do to help in healing our planet. Besides the health of our planet, when supporting a local economy there's a higher chance we are consuming local or regional produce, ingredients, crafts, made by and brought to our table in part by those we call neighbors instead of going to a company that brings goods from afar, on a large boat. To me, this translates as fresher food. Of course, there are more things to consider, but this is a blog on a food-related website so saying that I haven't read the NEW GREEN DEAL proposed by a prominent Gov. Rep is not needed because I don't need to be convinced that fewer automobile emissions, fewer cow farts, less pollution of our water resources and the ocean are good not only for humans but for the whole flora and fauna in this planet we call earth. This brings me to my reason for writing today. Friends, fans, supporters of the food at De Nada Kitchen & Market (formerly Cueva Bar. I want to invite you and encourage you to consider consuming local produce and other food ingredients by going to the farmer's market to support your local farmers or local fish markets, or at your favorite eateries that source their ingredients from small businesses, not the huge giant consortiums of nationwide and worldwide distributors.

When I buy fish from Chula Sea Foods I rely on Jimmy and his family's expertise in the matter due in fact because of his passion for sustainability.


Last week and this week I tried offering a delicious (in my mind) Szechuan-inspired spicy stew, served with sculpin last week and white sea bass this week. Not only was the dish so tasty, but as I've mentioned probably enough, it was around 90% locally and regionally sourced. From the fresh vegetables sourced from SPECIALTY PRODUCE used in this broth, the already mentioned fish from CATALINA OFFSHORE PRODUCTS and the constant inspiration from southeast Asian countries I get directly from within the University Heights neighbors, and the news, but always with a dash of Mexican here in there like the Fresno (red jalapeños) peppers we chopped and sautéed to substitute for the spicy element of the dish.


What really happened is the dish was not a success. The failure is such now I've got to eat the rest of the fish--not a bad problem to have but one that I rather not encounter by having sold all the fish.


Should I just stick to cooking tacos?


There are some who say walk the road less travel is the way to go, and in contrast there is the path of least resistance philosophy. Can we both meet in the middle? I choose they both can mix and mingle just like believing YOLO is for everyone but how we go about yoloing is what makes the difference. Do you even know what YOLO means?


I feel I could have easily started a taco shop and call it a day but that's not in me or has it ever existed within me to go by the seemingly easiest route. I love tacos of all kinds, colors, smells and flavors. We do sell tacos at Cueva Bar but they aren't the focus, nor any of the other tapas on our menu are the main focus. I like to cook with however and whatever inspiration comes through me.

So about last week and on Tuesday. The few guests that ordered the Szechuan-inspired special left no trace of food on the bowl. There is a very picky Cueva Bar fan who doesn't hold back when the flavors aren't there. This special fan of ours licked the plate clean--figuratively speaking of course.


The one challenge we've had at De Nada Kitchen & Market (Formerly Cueva Bar) is the location and the fact that we rely mostly on word of mouth for new foodies to find out about us. Even nine years after being open we have slow weekends and weekdays so there are fewer people we can lure into ordering our specials or to invite them to try those tapas that represent more sustainability through their ingredients.


The question remains, how much longer should I keep trying to focus on offering dishes that have in them as much sustainability as possible?

The truth is I don't know, while I might continue being a romantic about supporting our local neighbors and putting my grain of sand to make our city a good place to live for all, I must continually adapt and adjust our course of action, otherwise, the business becomes stagnant.

Another opportunity has arisen from the depths of the wine culture. Did I mention we now offer six (6) California wines, three (3) of those being from San Diego County! I feel very proud and excited to have the chance to offer you amazing quality wine, made locally from grapes grown locally by some of the coolest and nicest people in San Diego.

Wanna help Cueva Bar make it to its 11-year mark by 2021? Do you like what we offer?

Help us spread the word if you haven't done so, leave a review or comment about your visit. We invite you to give us feedback about the food we offer because we are here to cook the food you like and enjoy, we are here on a mission to spread love through food in an inclusive and welcoming environment.

We invite you to come and try our tapas tasting menu (the only one available in San Diego), and maybe sign up for updates if you like what you tasted, or even consider our space for a private party.


Do you want to have tapas for a private event that are 100% locally sourced? We can work on that too!


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