Voted Best of the Best Mexican Restaurant in 2014!
Ernesto Gastelum, Owner/Chef
The inspiration for Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill came from a young man’s dream to introduce his original and distinct interpretation of Mexican food to the masses. Born and raised in San Benito, Sinaloa Mexico, Chef Ernesto Gastelum began his culinary journey at a young age.
He attended school in Culiacan and came to Los Angeles, CA when he turned 13.
Gastelum learned to cook from various chefs he worked for. He started his career as dishwasher and through perseverance he worked his way up to line cook, front of the house while knowing he wanted to be a Head Chef someday. Among some of the restaurants he has worked for in the desert are Jillian’s, The Vintage Club, The Hideaway and Café De Beaux Arts. Gastelum’s passion and love for both his food and his culture have allowed him to create an array of eclectic and delicious dishes – many of which have come from his family recipes passed down from generation to generation such as his Abuelita’s Albondigas Soup to the Tia Maria’s Green Corn Tamales.
Gastelum’s firm belief is that every plate must be prepared with fresh ingredients and provide exceptional taste. He is very adventurous with food and likes to challenge the palate by making every dish as if it was himself eating it. His experiences have given him a deep understanding of operating a restaurant. Every dish is prepared promptly and with a homemade Mexican flavor. Let the food speak for itself. His extraordinary dishes will have you returning time and time again!
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Effective June 1st-Open at 5pm
Click here to read the interview!
$6.95 Happy Hour Appetizers Every Day (Except Tuesday)
From 5 PM – 7 PM ($8.95 after Happy Hour)