Nothing is simple anymore. Even all-you-can-eat sushi is fraught with tricky moral quandaries and potential litigation these days. The Los Angeles Times Business Section reports that Studio City’s A Ca-Shi is at the center of a lawsuit after its chef and owner, Jay Oh, watched a customer order all-you-can-eat sushi for $28 and due to his diabetic condition, remove the fish for consumption while leaving the rice unused. Oh, who says he couldn’t run an AYCE sushi component if everyone discarded the filling rice to ingest more fish, suggested he make the man orders of sashimi if the customer wasn’t going to eat the sushi as intended. The man refused and was charged a la carte prices for his raw fish and uneaten rice. And then the trouble began.
The guest reappeared in Oh’s life weeks later with a lawsuit that alleges the chef’s request caused “humiliation, embarrassment, and mental anguish.” Oh is fighting the $4,000 lawsuit, which the plaintiff’s lawyer says is more about changing a discriminatory policy than making money, though like many people who go to restaurants and experience humiliation and mental anguish, he is willing to settle the case for $6,000, roughly what it could cost Oh to fight for his right to serve sushi his way. Sounds like a similar ploy to the recent Barney’s bathroom scheme, with some huckster trying to catch a windfall from a hard-working restaurateur by creating their own embarrassing situation.
In any case, while we hope Oh is able to hold on to his dough, this incident will probably just lead to even more defensive Studio City sushi chefs with even more crazy rules about how we’re allowed to eat in their places. Here’s one from us to all you customers types: if you don’t want sushi, DON’T ORDER SUSHI!