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Petrossian LAX Sued by Ex-Chef Who Claims They Were Serving Rotten Caviar

A certifiable seafood scandal has broken out at the airport

Petrossian LAX
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

A scorching new story out of TMZ says that an ex-chef at the LAX location of Petrossian Caviar and Champagne Bar is suing the company for unlawful termination after being canned because he raised concerns about the restaurant’s products.

Per the report, one Donald Gray says via his legal team that he was forced to taste expired caviar by management to ensure that it was still good enough to serve to customers. Gray alleges that he became sick with food poisoning as a result, but when he brought up the issues with higher-ups he was disciplined instead. The suit further claims that team members at the LAX location of Petrossian were told to peel off labels showing the expiration dates on the caviar they sold, before turning it over to customers.

It’s worth noting, as TMZ does, that the airport outlet of Petrossian is not technically a part of the actual Petrossian brand (other than in name). Like many vendors at LAX, an independent operator licenses out the name but actually handles all of the staffing and overseeing of food at the airport.

That makes this whole thing much more like what happened when Jones on Third licensed their name to an outfit from Santa Monica, only to watch as the quality and integrity of the product reportedly plummeted. Still, it’s a tough lawsuit for anyone involved with the Petrossian name, as the brand is considered in caviar circles to be among the pinnacle of quality. Guests looking for a truer experience can still of course visit Petrossian’s existing West Hollywood location on Robertson.