A lot more than 20%: La Jolla restaurant owner receives ‘priceless’ $1,000 tip

China Chef owner Bob Gu received a very generous tip on a takeout meal he prepared: $1,000.

A couple of customers presented local restaurant owner Bosheng (Bob) Gu with a huge tip, and it showed him the value of community.

Gu owns China Chef at 623 Pearl St. in the Village, and has for 25 years. As with many area restaurants, he’s struggling to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic and is relying on takeout orders to keep him afloat.

“This couple came in, they live here and they’ve been my regular customers of 25 years,” Gu said. “That day they came, ordered as usual and charged it on their credit card. I gave them their food and saw they had put a $1,000 tip on the receipt.”

Gu requested that the Light not publish their names out of concern for their privacy.

“They said, ‘Hey, Bob, this is for you,’” Gu recalled. “I told them, ‘I don’t need this; you’ve supported me for 25 years already! That’s good enough.’”

But the couple were insistent, Gu said. “They said, ‘We discussed it, we like your food, we like your restaurant. We support you; please take it.’”

Gu said the gesture rendered him momentarily speechless. “It touched my heart; I couldn’t say anything. Finally, I said, ‘I really appreciate it.’”

He said he sent the extra money to his family in Shanghai, China. But the gift will stay with him for a while.

“It’s not only the value of the thousand dollars. Behind this money is the heart. Knowing they love me and support me is priceless.”◆