Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach, Calif. describes itself as "surfer meets sophisticate" and serves guests more than 50 kinds of tacos.
It has also supposedly been serving a foie gras burger, and PETA is not too happy about it, since it violates the statewide foie gras ban that went into effect this summer.
"A little-known restaurant in Hermosa Beach, California, must have thought it was being sly," PETA says on its blog. "After the [California ban on the sale of foie gras] was in place, the restaurant continued to serve the foie gras burger but tried to be crafty by changing the menu to read that people who purchased the burger would receive a free side of foie gras."
Get it? Hot's Kitchen isn't selling anything, it's merely offering the delicacy as a complimentary side.
But the people at PETA weren't going to take the attempt to circumvent the ban on selling foie gras lightly. After contacting the local Hermosa Beach Police Department, they've now filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles Superior Court against the restaurant for engaging in unlawful business practices.
But Hot's Kitchen does not seem worried.
" Publicity stunts such as the filing of an outrageous, baseless lawsuit, followed by the issuance of press releases are nothing more than an attempt to exploit the media by stoking controversial flames and are designed to line the pockets of profiteers ," the restaurant's spokeswoman, Kelly Coughlan, told Reuters.
Hot's Kitchen is not the first California eatery to defy the July 1st ban, and it most likely won't be the last. A number of restaurants have attempted to find a work-around to the new health code law, from serving foie gras for free to finding a loophole by residing on federal property and not California land .
Foie gras, the engorged liver of a duck or goose that has been excessively force fed, is considered a delicacy. PETA has done undercover investigations into the cruelty of the foie gras farms in the past, including with Kate Winslet where the film team witnessed feeding pipes forced down the birds' throats, causing internal bleeding, tissue damage, and sometimes even puncturing the neck.
Foie gras production has been banned in 15 countries, including the U.K., Germany, and Australia. If Hot's Kitchen is found guilty of breaking the ban, it could face fines of up to $1,000 per violation per day.
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