Restaurant Defies Foie Gras Ban in San Francisco

A ban on the sale and production of foie gras, created by force-feeding birds, was enacted on July 1 in California, but one San Francisco restaurant is claiming an exemption to serve it and may legally be able to do so.

The Presidio Social Club’s owner Ray Tang announced this week that his club would be serving foie gras this weekend, arguing that since his restaurant is on federal land, located on a national park, it’s exempt from the ban.

The announcement has gotten mixed reviews from both customers and legal experts. Some customers were eager to make a reservation, while others vowed not to return and experts can’t seem to agree on whether Tang should actually be able to serve the diseased liver.

A spokeswoman for the Presidio Trust, which oversees the land, said that the restaurant is not subject to the state’s new law, even though the Presidio Trust isn’t too impressed with the move.

“We are concerned that this action is inconsistent with the values that we promote in the Presidio – sustainability, respect for our environment, responsible stewardship. We will engage with the Presidio Social Club on these concerns,” said Craig Middleton, the trust’s executive director.

Evan Lee, a professor at UC Hasting’s College of Law, called it a ‘gray area’ and believes it’s a federal matter that would have to be settled in federal court if anyone brought a suit.

Other restaurants located on federal land are considering whether or not they will begin serving foie gras, but so far it doesn’t seem like any of them are that interested.

“It seems hard to imagine the park service taking kindly to people using their facilities to do things that violate state criminal laws. If you get pulled over for drunk driving in the Presidio, I don’t recommend relying on this chef’s questionable legal advice,” said Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States in Washington, D.C.

Still others are looking to make use of loopholes in the law by giving away foie gras. Chez TJ is offering ‘complementary’ foie gras for free as part of a $130 dollar tasting menu. However, it’s arguable that he’s not actually giving it away, since patrons will have to pay for what they’re getting.


Related Stories:

Angry Chefs Block Foie Gras Ban

Lawsuit Seeks Foie Gras Ban in U.S.

California Chefs Want Foie Gras Ban Repealed

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Ashlyine B.
Ashlyine B.4 years ago

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Elaine W.
Laura Homza4 years ago

BAN FOIE GRAS , period. How can there be two fair sides? It is an elitist, pr@ck move to eat this.

Alberta G.

I won't eat anywhere they serve it.

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Liling O4 years ago

This so-called special dish should be taken off the menu too and it should be ban forever!

We always point our fingers criticising the people here in Asia eating dog meat or whatever...

And this foie gras is also one exotic dish that was built on the horrific sufferings of these poor geese

Rosemary Lowe

Those who belittle the torture and suffering of animals might be pitied by some. But there is a growing movement of people out there who understand that these apologists of animal cruelty to be the lowest of life on earth. Perhaps they need to be tied down and force-fed for the rest of their meaningless lives, so their livers will become mega large, too. Let's see how they like it.

Yulan Lawson
Yulan L5 years ago

thanks for the article.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Animal L. is part of the pure evil infecting the human race and shouldn't even be allowed to disturb the few remaining decent people by frothing at the mouth with his greedy lies. He's full of the usual blatant lies and disgusting excuses for monstrous cruelty and destruction of this planet spewing from the mouths of demons that pretend to be human, the ones that can't even measure up to the disgrace which is humanity. You hear the same excuses from the criminal wretches in Canada trying to propagandize their bloodbath cruelty on harp seals

Mark Donners
Mark Donner5 years ago

Solution? Throw this disgusting "Ray Tang" criminal in the darkest prison and throw away the key

Jane B.
Jane B5 years ago

Here's how humane and natural it is...