A Brief History of Tin Jo Restaurant
Tin Jo Restaurant is located in an old house in the cultural heart of San Jose, Costa Rica, close to theaters, museums, and galleries. Originally, the house belonged to Don Cuco Arrieta, an interesting character who became famous as lender ("When pressed, Arrieta Cuckoo"), and as a victim of the first kidnapping in the history of Costa Rica. In any case, they built a nice house, which my parents aquilaron of his widow in 1972 after arriving in Costa Rica to China, refuge of the Cultural Revolution. Shortly after the restaurant opened Tin jo.
I was 12 when I arrived in Costa Rica, and still I have memories of my youth in the restaurant with its exotic blend of Chinese and Costa Rican cultures, with its courtyard matte light with giant leaves, and always sounds a kitchen bustling.
It was a magical time, but also hard for me, and as soon as I could, I left, heading for the bright lights of New York. After graduating from college I was in the United States, and later got my master's degree in business administration from UCLA. I served for a while as heroin High Technology at IBM for 80 years, and then I met my future husband, Robert, who worked as a social worker. Together we went to work in a refugee camp in Thailand. There, he fell in love with Thai food, and during a tour of other Asian countries, food in these countries also.
From Asia, we returned to the States and settled in the Bay Area where I worked as a Recycling Program Coordinator of the Municipality of San Francisco, and Robert took his Masters in Urban Planning at UC Berkeley.
And then, something else entirely. My parents had already tired of the restaurant business and wanted to pass it on to any of his four daughters genuinely interested. I was the only one who dared. So Robert and I took our bags and moved to Costa Rica, where we confuse all expectations and become owners of a restaurant.
We think it a try for a year or two. That was ten years ago. During this time we have grown in the restaurant in several ways: we have expanded the menu to include dishes from all over Asia, we have increased the capacity of the restaurant, annexing a neighboring building, and we have changed the decor to reflect the varied cultures of Asia. Oh, and raise two beautiful daughters, Maya and Leila, and watched a movie or two there.
After ten years of our little culinary adventure, we are still here, and while sometimes we feel tired, we always love what we're doing. We are very proud of what the Tin Jo restaurant today, and look forward to a warm welcome on his first, fifth, or hundredth visit.