Humping The Hump, Santa Monica's Whale-Serving Sushi Bar; Jonathan Gold Connection in the Fracas

Categories: Featured, Sietsema

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The Hump is actually located on Santa Monica city property, at the Santa Monica Airport.

While Santa Monica's whale-slicing restaurant faces fines of $200,000 for itself, and $100,000 for its sushi chef over its admissions that it violated the Federal Marine Mammal Protection Act by serving the raw flesh of an endangered mammal, its punishment may be more swift and immediate.

L.A. Observed reports that the city council of Santa Monica--one of the country's most environmentally sensitive municipalities--is looking into revoking The Hump's license to do business in the city. In addition to the licensing leverage that the city council possesses, an additional aspect is that the restaurant leases space at the city airport, which is owned by Santa Monica.

It began with an email to city council members from Mark Gold of the organization Heal the Bay, which is headquartered in Santa Monica. In an interview, L.A. Observed quizzed Gold about the action he'd taken, and here is his synopsis:

"I sent an e-mail to some Santa Monica city council members asking them to take action immediately. Santa Monica is known as one of the most environmentally sensitive cities in the nation, so a local sushi house selling whale is an outrage and an embarrassment.

Councilmember Kevin McKeown, a vegetarian, responded by asking City Attorney Marsha Moutrie to investigate if a violation of the law is grounds for revoking the Hump's business license.

Councilmembers Terry O'Day and Richard Bloom also contacted the city attorney. After all, the restaurant actually sits on Santa Monica property at the airport, so a violation of the law should be grounds for revoking its business license or canceling its lease. (The full council was scheduled to discuss the matter at its regular Tuesday night meeting.)"

As an interesting aside: Mark Gold is the brother of L.A. Weekly food critic and Pulitzer prizewinner Jonathan Gold (who apparently doesn't particularly like The Hump, anyway).

Read Jonathan Gold's description of the sting operation against The Hump.


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