The owners of a chain of Thai restaurants in the Pacific Northwest say they've been wrongly targeted by activists upset over the serving of whale meat: Apparently the eateries are in the cross-hairs of animal lovers because they happen to have the same name as the parent company of the Santa Monica restaurant busted in a whale-sushi scandal
Typhoon! Restaurants issued a press release this week titled "IT WASN'T US!!!" and explaining that it has nothing to do with the Typhoon Restaurant, Inc. charged in a federal case for serving an endangered species against U.S. law at its eatery called The Hump. In fact, the Oregon- and Washington-based Typhoon! chain (note the exclamation mark) states that it only serves Thai food and that slicing up whale would be offensive to Thais.
"Ever since the national media reported that a sushi restaurant in Santa Monica was cited for illegally serving endangered whale meat, the owners and managers of Typhoon! Thai restaurants in Oregon and Washington have been scrambling to correct a case of dangerously mistaken identity," reads the restaurant chain's release.
Phone calls and emails have come into the chain threatening boycotts, it states. "Shame shame shame," reads one email. "You'd better run back to Japan. You're done in the USA."
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Apparently the "IT WASN'T US!!!" theme extends to all of its restaurants, where signs saying as much have been posted. In an email chain about the whale sushi incident, Typhoon! Thai restaurants co-owner Steve Klein says that the controversy could cost it 300 jobs if it's not corrected.
"The accusation is especially troublesome to our company and staff, for eating whale meat would be considered extremely offensive in the Thai culture," he writes.
The Thai concern wants to someday expand into Southern California, he states. (This can't be a good start).