Heal the Bay vs. The Hump *

hump-nyt.jpgThe restaurant at Santa Monica Airport accused of serving banned whale sushi is less than two miles from the offices of Heal the Bay. When the New York Times broke the story, HTB president Mark Gold began trying to get the place closed — but this time doesn't have to worry about his brother, Jonathan Gold the food writer.

I sent an e-mail to some Santa Monica city councilmembers 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.)

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In a humorous dig at my family, Councilman McKeown also opined that “We need to do something before Mark’s brother (L.A. Weekly food critic Jonathan Gold) goes there and gives the joint a favorable review.”

As a point of fact, my bro likes exotic food but he actually hates the Hump because it is “gimmicky and weird.”

“Restaurants resort to gimmicks generally because their chefs just aren’t very good,” he tells me.

Brothers Mark and Jonathan went a few rounds over whale eating back in 2008.

* City investigates: Gold posts a follow that the Santa Monica city attorney will begin looking into the eatery's legal status as a city tenant.


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