The ongoing saga of one Santa Monica restaurant’s fateful decision to serve endangered whale meat seems to finally be wrapping up. The Hump, which formerly held court at the Santa Monica airport (and has since become a spot called Typhoon), shuttered as a result of the scandal, and everyone has already had their day in court.
Last month, the owners of the restaurant were
completely let off the hook lightly chastised for their role in knowingly serving Sei whale to customers. Some of those off-menu delicacies were actually bought on camera by a documentary crew from The Cove, which initiated the whole Hump takedown in the first place.
At that time, the chefs responsible — Kiyoshiro Yamamoto and Susumu Ueda — were still awaiting their own charges after pleading guilty. Now comes word from ABC News that Ueda has earned the heavy, heavy sentence of probation and a fine. Well, it’s a $5,000 fine and comes with an added bonus of 200 hours of community service, but still.
For his part, Yamamoto, who now currently runs the invite-only omakase spot called Yamakase, will be sentenced on May 18, with a supplier to be sentenced in late June. It’s unlikely, given the leniency shown to the owners and chef Ueda, that Yamamoto will see any jail time for his role in the serving of illegal and endangered whale meat, meaning his new Palms restaurant should be safe to continue on with its leader unscathed.