Update: Having wrongly implicated Koi’s owners, Attorney General Jerry Brown’s office has removed all mentions of the restaurant’s owners as being part of this lawsuit and controversy. The owners of Koi are being sued for $6.6 million by the State of California for allegedly exploiting workers at eight car washes owned by the accused Sikder Group Inc. and at least two subsidiary companies. In a statement carried by L.A. Times, Attorney General Jerry Brown stops just short of blaming the food itself for Sikder’s failure to pay wages and back wages, denying minimum wage, falsifying time sheets, and refusing break and meal times. What did he have to say about Koi’s food?
Brown says,” While Koi served up yellowtail tartare and Kobe beef carpaccio to Hollywood celebrities, the restaurant’s owners routinely denied wages, breaks and overtime pay to workers at their unlicensed carwashes.” The $6.6 million sum is intended to cover lost wages with the addition of civil penalties, while an injunction is being sought to keep the businesses on the straight-and-narrow.
For extra oomph, Brown throws in a final jab at Koi’s flashy image, saying, “The restaurants gross millions of dollars annually and are regularly featured in gossip magazines and on television shows, including HBO’s Entourage.” If Brown has his way, no doubt the yellowtail tartare is going to pay!