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SLS Owner SBE Pays Up In Kobe Beef Lawsuit

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 12th May 2015 3:01pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 1


SBE Kobe Beef Fraud

SBE Entertainment, 10% owner and resident restaurant operator at the SLS Las Vegas has been mailing out vouchers this week as part of the settlement terms for Lima vs SBEEG Holdings LLC class action lawsuit.

During the five year period - August 16, 2008 and October 11, 2013 - twenty seven restaurants, nightclubs and bars owned by SBE Entertainment allegedly sold beef to their customers that was described as being "Kobe" when it wasn't cut from Japanese Tajima waguy cattle.

This lawsuit was filed by Erick Lina (Plaintiff), a customer of SBE’s restaurants, and relates to the purchase and consumption of Kobe Beef and foie gras at restaurants, bars, and nightclubs owned and operated by SBE. Plaintiff alleged that he purchased and consumed beef, purported to be "Kobe" beef, that did not in fact originate in Japan and foie gras cultivated in violation of California law.

As part of the settlement, SBE denied wrongdoing.

Without admitting liability, SBE has agreed to provide twenty-dollar ($20) vouchers to any of its restaurants, bars, and/or nightclubs owned or operated by SBE which is located in California to all participating claimants who submit a timely and valid claim.

Additionally, SBE has agreed to cease and desist from using the term "Kobe" beef, but instead will use the term "Wagyu" beef or "American Kobe" beef in its restaurants, bars, or nightclubs.

The Bazaar by Jose Andrés was not among the restaurants cited in the class action suit. All of the Los Angeles locations of Katsuya, Hyde, Cleo, Foxtail and Sayers Club were named in the suit.

One has to wonder how often Vegas dining establishments engage in the purposeful substitution alternate grade meats and fish while retaining florid menu descriptions and advertised pricing. How would a consumer truly know that that kobe beef they ordered is actually sourced from Japan? Other than seeing Kobe marbling before it is sent to the grill, there is little evidence contained in a trio of Kobe beef sliders that will clue you in to the origins of said beef. By the time it reaches your lips, the meat has been ground, grilled and covered with artisanal ketchup.

Perhaps restaurants should be required in certain situations to present prime cuts of beef for customer approval in advance of being cooked, much like how a sommelier presents a bottle of wine before uncorking it for taste. You can tell by the label that your Chateau Lafite-Rothschild '82 is authentic... like totally.

It is strangely unspoken reality that a chef's most important ingredient isn't salt, spice, protein or acid but something you never see in any mise en place... trust.

Tagged: sbe entertainment   kobe beef   lawsuit   


Comments & Discussion:

SBE wasn't the only restaurant to engage in this practice. The real deal Kobe beef has been allowed back into the US for less than three years and what was on the menus prior to that was either domestically raised or from Australia. There was no enforcement on the part of the US government in regards to purveyors as well as restaurants using the Kobe and Wagyu terms without including that it was American or Australian in origin. Kobe/Wagyu is not the only international food/beverage item in which the US choose to ignore the trademarks on.

In Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas, Bazaar Meats, and MGM Resorts are listed on the Kobe Beef Marketing's registry as being qualified to deal with Kobe beef.


As of August 2014, the trademarks Kobe Meat and Tajima-gyu were registered in the US.


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