Soulful Mexican Kitchen Arrives Downtown

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The much-anticipated soulful, coastal Mexican kitchen, Curadero, has opened its doors in downtown San Diego. Derived from Curandero, or native healer, Curadero is a place to gather and be healed of hunger, hangover, boredom or anything else that ails you. It’s a vibrant place where urban lifestyle and bold, flavorful Mexican food collide.

Curadero was created by award-winning interior architects, Studio Unltd. The interior is a vibrant, sociable space that exudes an undeniably alluring south of the border feel, with a nod towards San Diego’s coastal vibe. Large, bright murals depicting medicine men by Mexican muralist Neuzz are balanced by beautiful brickwork and rustic textures. Colorful tiles are found throughout, adorning a sit-down crudo bar, as well as Curadero’s cocktail bar. Beautiful, mixed metal lighting further sets the tone, while the open and airy dining room complete the cantina-style vibe that beckons a gathering of family and friends.

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The menus at Curadero from Executive Chef Brad Kraten and Executive Sous Chef Emiliano Najera get to the soul of Mexican cuisine. Their ability to take traditional, regional dishes from all over Mexico and prepare them with true and fresh ingredients makes dining at Curadero an experience not-to-miss. For Dinner, sample something from the Crudo Bar, like the Tiradito de Robalo with local cured chorizo, finger limes, jalapeno and olive oil or Aguachile Verde with shrimp, cucumber, marinated red onions, and lemon oil. Move on to Starters like the Pozole with pork broth, hominy, lettuce, radish, oregano and salsa roja, or Mejillones con Birria, or Carlsbad blue mussels in a birria broth with goat crisp and cilantro. Platos Fuertos, larger plates meant to share, dish out braised, grilled and roasted proteins, like Grilled and Thinly Sliced Carne Asada Sirloin with chiles toreados, nopal asado, grilled onions and avocado, and Calabaza y Maiz Cazuela with roasted zucchini and corn, grilled onions, confit tomatoes sautéed mushrooms, crema and queso fresco. Lunch features many items from dinner menu, but with a few not-to-miss additions. Try the Birria, or spicy goat stew, with fresh tortillas and frijoles de la olla, or the Taco Placero with guacamole, pork chicharron, queso fresco, charred salsa and cilantro. For Breakfast, Curadero delights with traditional dishes, like Canasta de Pan with Mexican whipped spiced ricotta, Chilaquiles Rojos o Verdes, Queso Panela Asado, and housemade pastries with Champurrado.

The bar at Curadero houses over 80 premium tequilas and other Mexican spirits, like mezcal, bacanora, and sotol. Guests can indulge in a number of liquid remedies by Lead Bartender Jade Boyd. Boyd, who concocted a menu to pair with Chef Kraten’s bold food, will utilize ingredients and garnishes that will surprise the eyes as well as the palate. Try the mildly wild and slightly smoky A.K.A Silvestre with Los Javis Mezcal, sweet vermouth, fresh ginger, grapefruit and lemon juice, Bitterman’s Mole bitters and served with a scorpion lollipop. Or maybe something of the unfamiliar kind with the First Date, made with Por Siempre Sotol, prickly pear, fresh lemon juice, ginger beer, peyshaud’s bitters, and rose water mist. And for something more familiar, try Curadero’s signature Michelada, served with pickled watermelon rind, carrots, and a cricket chile salt rim. Guests can also pick from Baja wines or choose from the collection of bottled and draught Mexican beers.

The second-level Arriba Room welcomes late night revelers looking for a space to unwind and enjoy a casual bite or drink. Open Thursday through Saturday from 9 P.M. -1 A.M., the Arriba Room will serve street tacos from its walk-up taco window, Mexican beer and wine, batched cocktails and house sodas. Head to the game lounge and try your hand at one of the classic arcade games, like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga and Frogger, or challenge friends to a friendly game of foosball or shuffle board. 

Curadero and the Arriba Room are located at 1047 Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego. For more information and updates, follow them on Facebook (/CuraderoSD), on Instagram (@CuraderoSD), or online at


Located at the North end of downtown San Diego next to Hotel Palomar – A Kimpton hotel, is the soulful, Mexican kitchen, Curadero. Executive Chef Brad Kraten’s fresh menu features traditional flavors found throughout the streets of Mexico. The bar features a comprehensive list of Mexican craft beers, Baja wines, specialty cocktails, and an impressive selection of tequilas and mezcals. Upstairs in the Arriba Room, the second floor game room and lounge, guests order from the street-style taco window or play classic games.