A high-end restaurant in Santa Clara County agreed to a six-figure settlement with local prosecutors after an investigation revealed the restaurant was charging customers for expensive fish but serving them a cheaper species.
The settlement requires that the Morgan Hill restaurant Odeum pay $30,000 in restitution by offering customers $30 gift cards as restitution, the Santa Clara district attorney's office announced Wednesday.
Eligible customers must have ordered the seafood dish petrale sole between October 2014 and March 2016. It turns out those customers were actually served tilapia but charged for petrale sole, authorities say.
Customers can find claim forms in Bay Area newspapers or by writing directly to the restaurant in Morgan Hill, authorities said. Any leftover restitution money will go to the district attorney's Department of Environmental Health and Consumer Protection Division. The restaurant was also hit with $90,000 in civil penalties.
The fishy food substitutions violate state health and safety codes prohibiting restaurants from mis-branding or falsely advertising food they serve.
"When you go out to a restaurant you should get the food you order and pay for," prosecutor Jennifer Deng said in a statement.
The restaurant's website says it specializes in artisinal Mediterranean cuisine. Its menu says that the Petrale sole is wild caught and is served with lemon, capers, dill, saffron, parmesan risotto and grilled asparagus. It costs $31.95.
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