Is there anything Oscar can't do? While in Los Angeles for the ceremony, reports The New York Times' Jennifer Steinhauer, director Louie Psihoyos and "director of clandestine operations" Charles Hambleton, who won the award for their dolphin doc The Cove, helped set up a sting that harpooned The Hump, the well-regarded sushi bar in the Santa Monica Airport, for serving whale sashimi as part of an elaborate omakase meal. Whale meat is legal in several countries in the Far East, but serving it is a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection act in the U.S., which is why it didn't show up next to the gold-plated cod sperm on your last trip to Nobu. The U.S. attorney's office said charges could be filed as early as this week.
Steinhauer descibes a clandestine video of operatives, associates of Hambleton, squeamishly nibbling at whale meat in a preliminary visit last October before they tossed the $60 cetacean nosh into a Ziploc bag for testing. The Hump's endless omakase of exotic raw fish must have been hard going for vegans, who were probably as challenged by the bluefin and the fugu as they were by Free Willy.
And here all this time we thought you had to fly to Korea to eat whale. The other white meat, it ain't.
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The Hump: 3221 Donald Douglas Loop South, Third Floor Santa Monica; (310) 313-0977.