Feature: Chicago a la Tica

Published in Hispanic Executive Oct/Nov/Dec 2014

It’s nearing 7 p.m. on a Friday, and a line is forming outside of Irazú, Chicago’s only Costa Rican restaurant.

Underneath the green awning, beyond the glowing blue OPEN sign, every detail invites guests to allow themselves to be transported to some place akin to paradise, south of Nicaragua and north of Panama. Salsa music plays under the conversations of couples and lively parties of 10. The smell of caramelized sweet plantains hangs in the air. Textured walls tinted with tangerine, cerulean, and lime green hues reflect the country’s vibrant palette and are adorned with multicolored lizards and smiling sunbursts. Globe lights strung across the ceiling give the patio a backyard barbecue feel. And waiting to greet you at the front door is a smiling face, the proud owner with your passport for the evening …

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