Combative consumer chowhounds come in all stripes. Recently, bargain shopping Taco Bell customers filed a food labeling class action against the discount fast food Mexican food chain alleging that the “taco beef” it advertised in its beef tacos wasn’t really all “seasoned beef” but adulterated with non-beef extenders like soy-letchin and modified corn starch.
The restaurant chain is vigorously and publicly defending itself, including taking out full page advertisements in national newspapers. See for example, “Taco Bell Has Beef With Class-Action Suit.”
But now there’s news that another frugal foodie, David Martin, has found something else besides food on his plate – – – a piece of litigation.
Like the Taco Bell complainants, Martin is another consumer unhappy with his choice of eating establishment. But in his case, it isn’t because there was anything wrong with his fish. Instead, Martin’s ‘beef’ is over what he thinks was a ‘catch’ to the $28 all-you-can-eat offer at his local sushi restaurant.
Sushi is cooked vinegared rice topped with fish. And all-you-can-eat sushi presumes you’re going to eat the whole thing, fish and vinegared rice – – – that is, unless you’re diabetic, which Martin says he is.
Martin claims he can’t eat rice. Nonetheless, he wanted to eat bargain sushi anyway but only without the rice. Studio City, California sushi proprietor Jay Oh at “A Ca-Shi” Restaurant told him he couldn’t just fill up on fish and leave the rice. So because Martin didn’t like the house rule, he did what any red-blooded American does, he sued.
Martin is claiming disability discrimination since he has to manage his carb-intake and says he shouldn’t be forced to eat the rice because of his diabetes.
Sushi proprietor Oh offered to prepare $25 sashimi (fish only) for Martin but he refused. See David Lazarus: “Diabetic’s discrimination lawsuit against sushi restaurant is hard to swallow.“
But is it disability discrimination when the restaurant’s rule applies to everyone coming in for all-you-can-eat?
Stuffing your face.
Now I don’t know Oh from a yellow tail hand-roll, but I doubt the sushi proprietor is picking on diabetics. That’d be bad business.
What I really think is that he’s merely trying to manage the greedy appetites of churlish cheapskates who’re always looking for ways to game the system. Sushi without the rice? That’s like asking for chicken noodle soup without the noodles, a ham sandwich without the ham, a hot dog without the bun or a burrito without the tortilla.
Most of us don’t eat fast food or crave all-you-can-eat because we want high quality dining. We do it because it’s cheap and you can stuff your face for not a lot of money.
So knowing you do get what you pay for, most of us don’t have the stones to complain.
Nether regions and having your cake.
It wasn’t that long ago when I last blogged about a litigious gourmand and his happily accommodating lawyer at “Of toilet seats, artichokes and framing lawyer embarrassment.” That post concerned an ignorant physician who sued because a restaurant didn’t teach him how to eat an artichoke. And so he blamed the restaurant when he hurt himself by swallowing a leaf that got caught in his nether regions.
In the case of the ‘doofus doc’ and the intestinal-tract artichoke, there purportedly was a causally-connected injury. But in Martin’s case, he’s claiming less determinate injuries, “humiliation, embarrassment and mental anguish.” But then that’s only because he wanted to have his cake without having to eat it, too.