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Diabetic (Type 2) suing "All-You-Can-Eat" Sushi restaurant because he has to eat the rice and (gasp!) not just the fish?


The outrage is fomenting within me as I type this.

Read the full article here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi...

This last part pretty much sums it up:


"Perhaps I can help. In my experience, there's no such thing as a diabetic-friendly or not-friendly business.

Just friendly and not-friendly diabetics."



  1. The obvious answer is for Mr. Oh to offer all-you-can-eat sashimi for the bargain price of $1,000.00, and put up a notice that addititional sushi will only be served when all of the original order is eaten. If the customer wants all you can eat sushi, give it to him!

    1. No sashimi for you !!!!

      I've seen signs at AYCE places you have to eat the rice w/ the fish.

      1. Isn't there a difference between AYCE sushi and AYCE sashimi?

        1. I hate the sue 'em first nature of this country, but I think I'm being obtuse this morning. If you pay the agreed upon price, you should be able to do whatever you want with the food. Somebody help me, what am I missing??

          4 Replies
          1. re: jackbauer

            The AYCE sushi place I go to has the message on the menu sheet where you place your order that if you order it, you eat it or else they will charge you extra per uneaten roll. They are making everything to order, so they don't want people over ordering.

            1. re: jackbauer

              Many buffets post signs about not wasting with the threat of being asked to leave if you do.

              Also, sushi is vinegared rice and a topping/filling.

              What Mr Martin (the plaintiff) did is akin to going to an pizza buffet and eat only the cheese topping and throw away the tomato sauce covered pizza crust.

              I agree with the idea of having a sashimi (raw fish) option so he can eat as much "sushi topping" without having to deal with the rice.

              1. re: dave_c

                The rice should have kept Mr. Martin, a diabetic, away. The fact that the rice is sugared should have made him run away. The fact that the last thing a diabetic needs is to eat all he can stand to is another good reason for him not to be there.

                1. re: dave_c

                  -akin to going to an pizza buffet and eat only the cheese topping and throw away the tomato sauce covered pizza crust-

                  if the cheese was WAAAAY more expensive than the crust and sauce!

              2. this is pretty ridiculous. especially since the word "sushi" specifically refers to the rice in the first place! you cant have sushi without sushi rice!

                totally with Oh on this. also agree with caroline. if he wants all you can eat sashimi, sure, give it to him, but make sure he understands that AYCE sashimi=/=AYCE sushi and that difference is reflected in the difference in price

                1. >>>"""In addition to confirming that Twombly applied to all civil actions, Iqbal established that "only a complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a motion to dismiss."8 A claim is plausible "when the plaintiff pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged."9 The Court then explained that determining plausibility is "a context-specific task that requires the reviewing court to draw on its judicial experience and common sense."10""""<<<<

                  1. The restaurant owner is also weird:

                    customer comes in, order stuff, eat only the fish, not the rice, owner say customer need to eat the rice or no deal !!!

                    At some point I can understand that if the customer does not eat the rice he will order more; but that's is part of the risk of having a AYCE.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Maximilien

                      its ayce SUSHI. not ayce fish or ayce sashimi

                      1. re: Maximilien

                        I'm pretty sure you're not supposed to pick apart combined dishes in any kind of an AYCE environment. It's the equivalent of going to a buffet and picking up a plate of stir-fry, picking only the shrimp out, and leaving everything else behind, and then going up for more of the exact same thing, repeat.

                      2. Ridiculous. Thanks for posting that. I go to my neighborhood sushi place often and they have an AYCE sushi deal that I do not partake in - especially when I plan to only eat sashimi. My place has an hour time limit and also says something about eating the rice/finishing the current order before ordering more.

                        If the restaurant owner doesn't win the case, I'd be shocked.

                        1. I hope Oh wins resoundingly and Martin is slapped with a punitive fine - to be awarded to Oh - for bringing a frivolous lawsuit without merit and wasting the court's time.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: huiray

                            I'm diabetic and I agree that the customer is a scammer. He didn't belong at a AYCE sushi fest, period.

                          2. i was disgusted when i read the article in the paper this morning.

                            does this mean i should go to Father's Office and order the burger *without* the bun, and when Sang Yoon refuses to oblige, sue him for discriminating against me on the basis of my Celiac disease?

                            just another narcissistic consumer determined to waste the time and money of the judicial system and the taxpayers to get a little attention.

                            BTW, ipse, i dig the new avatar!

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                              Yum Yum Yum, now I'm craving a burger from Culver City, ghg.

                              1. re: mamachef

                                i've been craving one since they started serving the darned thing. i harbor a wee bit of resentment toward Sang Yoon for his policy because i *would* like to judge for myself whether or not that burger is worth the hype...but i'm not going to sue him over it!

                                1. re: mattstolz

                                  nope. cats can't eat onions, and you can't order it without. i smell another lawsuit in the making...

                              2. To borrow from Richard Blaine in Casablanca when asked if he has no sympathy for the fox, "I also understand the point of view of the hound."

                                1. The AYCE sushi places I have been to here have price gradations, so you can get AYCE sashimi (and also order from the sushi menu if you want to). Basically there are 3 different price points with bigger menus available as you pay more. The price IIRC is just a couple of bucks more than a sashimi dinner.
                                  I remember going to a buffet AYCE sushi place and seeing the fish skimmed and the rice actually left on the buffet!

                                  1. The unasked question: is the rice at AYCE sushi places really worth eating? Lotta substandard sushi rice out there, especially at the low end of the $ scale.

                                    No sympathy for the diner, though. Hope he loses and has to pay Oh's legal fees plus court costs.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Akitist

                                      i think if im headed to a AYCE sushi place, im not exactly expecting them to bust out the top quality sushi for that deal

                                      1. re: mattstolz

                                        That sushi doesn't look like the kind you get at AYCE places I've been to.

                                    2. Everything else aside (and I agree with the restaurant btw), it amazes me that someone who is expecting accommodation for their own wants/needs/whims.... can be so self-centered and not at all mindful of how incredibly wasteful they are being, and the impact of that.

                                      The guy just expected to toss out plate after plate of perfectly good rice that someone had manufactured, cooked and made presentable for him. And he was ordering it knowing full well he would be throwing it out. And wanted to be accommodated in his desire to continue to do so.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. Martin in an a-hole, and his lawyer is one times ten.

                                        1. I heard about this lawsuit. The law has procedural safeguards in place to authorize the court to dismiss frivolous claims. I sure hope they are utilized.

                                          19 Replies
                                          1. re: terramassu

                                            Part of the problem here is that diabetics are generally considered a protected class under most anti-disccrimination laws, and thus an establishment must provide "reasonble accommodations".

                                            A court may decide that what constitutes "reasonable accommodations" is a factual question that cannot be decided on the pleadings alone, or simply on legal standards.

                                            I'm not an ADA lawyer so I don't know exactly what constitutes reasonable accommodations vis-a-vis diabetics and AYCE sushi restaurants, so who knows. Maybe someone who does, can chime in ...

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              People have to be able to get into the building, no way ADA should be interpreted to mean you have to go broke feeding them. It's all you can eat SUSHI, not sashimi. And the diabetic is being treated no differently than anyone else coming in to the restaurant. The reasonable accommodation here is all the non starch, non sugared proteins and vegetables on the menu.

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                Diabetics are not a protected class. I'm diabetic, and I'm also in HR so I deal with ADA and protected classes quite frequently. Protected classes are race, gender, sexuality, etc. ADA protects a person's rights to "reasonable" accomodations for their disability. A business is not obligated to majorly change their business structure to accomodate a diabetic (or anyone else to be ADA compliant).

                                                In this case, the customer could have an ADA complaint if the restaurant did not offer any other foods besides rice or other carb laden food (do I think he'd win? No -- he had other places he could have chosen to dine at). However, the reasonable accomodation provided here was that the restaurant also offers sashimi, and I'm assuming other items like salads and proteins that are OK for a diabetic to eat. Reasonable accomodations were already available. They had other items available for the customer to order. He just chose not to. In a workplace, if an employer offers reasonable accomodations for a disability, and the employee chooses not to take them, then the employer can terminate with no worries because they showed due diligence. If someone says they have back problems and asks for a new chair, I can order a doctor recommended, ergonomically correct chair -- I don't have to order the $800 Herman Miller chair just because that's what the employee asks for. I think this would be similar.

                                                The other issue was, as others have already pointed out, that sushi, by definition, contains rice. It wasn't AYCE sushi and sashimi.

                                                1. re: boogiebaby

                                                  interesting. and i think the diabetic would lose in an ADA suit, as you imply.

                                                2. re: ipsedixit

                                                  are diabetics a protected class indeed? how so?

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Again, I'm not a disability rights expert, but from what I understand certain provisions of the Fair Housing Act considered diabetics a protected class entitled to reasonable accommodations. State laws vary, but some also do the same.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      The Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") are jointly responsible for enforcing the federal Fair Housing Act1 (the "Act"), which prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, and disability.2 One type of disability discrimination prohibited by the Act is the refusal to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices, or services when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a disability the equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.3


                                                      ipse, you were thinking of the ADA....

                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                        Alkapal is correct -- you can't discriminate against someone for being diabetic, but diabetics are not a protected class.

                                                        1. re: boogiebaby

                                                          well, they "are" protected class in the sense of being protected from discrimination. but i think we're going far afield here into a deep, weedy field, and it is my fault.

                                                          sorry, i will strive to be on-topic! honest. hand over my heart. ;-)).

                                                          1. re: boogiebaby

                                                            you can't discriminate against someone for being diabetic, but diabetics are not a protected class.


                                                            That statement is inherently contradictory. Under the law, if you are not a protected class you *can* be discriminated against because the courts only use "rational basis" review to determine whether the alleged practices are discriminatory, and under rational basis review just about anything will pass legal muster. In other words, you can be discriminated against (generally speaking) if you are not a "protected class".

                                                            On the other hand, if you are a "proteced class" then the standard of review courts use is "strict scrutiny" which means that just about any thing will not be ok unless it essentially requires an act of god to provide reasonable accommodations.

                                                            I don't believe diabetics are a "protected class" under most Federal anti-discrimination laws and the U.S. Constitution, save with a few exceptions like the FHA and certain state laws.

                                                            But it would wrong -- or sloppy a the least -- to say you can't discriminate against diabetics and to simultaneously hold the position that they are not a "protected class".

                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                              I think I wasn't clear in what I was trying to say. A business can't post a sign that says "No Diabetics Allowed" because that would be a violation of ADA. But diabetics are not a protected class under Title VII, so any discrimination made against a diabetic would be ADA related, not protected class/EEO related.

                                                              1. re: boogiebaby

                                                                A business can't post a sign that says "No Diabetics Allowed" because that would be a violation of ADA

                                                                I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you because I'm not a disability rights expert, but from what I know about the ADA, if a restaurant owner did post such a sign I know of no regulation or statute that would prohibit such a sign.

                                                                As far as I understand, the ADA only prohibits discrimination vis-a-vis lack of accommodations for certain disabilities -- i.e., no handrails in bathrooms, mirrors in bathrooms that are too high for those in wheel chairs. No where in the ADA, does it say a place of public accommodation -- either a business or a restaurant of some sort -- cannot post a sign that says "NO DIABETICS".

                                                                Title II of the Civil Rigths Act would be the most likely source of legal authority to prohibit such a sign, but here again diabetics are not a "protected class" under Title II -- at least not that I am aware of. So it would probably be not prohibited under the law.

                                                                Can you point me to a source or cite for your statement?

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                  The more relevant determination here is does the Constitution ensure his right to be a d!ck?

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    Some businesses post a sign that says something like:
                                                                    "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"
                                                                    Is that legal?
                                                                    Does it have to be posted? Or can you refuse to serve anyone you please in general?

                                                                    1. re: monku

                                                                      Yes, however posting such a sign does not supersede federal and state laws and signs do not give a restaurant the power to refuse service on the basis of race, color, religion, or natural origin. Refusing service cannot be arbitrary or run afoul of discrimination laws.

                                                                      1. re: monku

                                                                        >>> Some businesses post a sign that says something like:
                                                                        >>> "we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"
                                                                        >>> Is that legal?


                                                                        >>> Does it have to be posted?


                                                                        >>> Or can you refuse to serve anyone you please in general?

                                                                        You can refuse service to anyone as long as it is not done on a discriminatory basis.

                                                                        For example, a restaurant owner can refuse service to anyone wearing Nike sneakers because Nike sneaker wearing people are not a "protected class" provided with strict scrutiny analysis under the law.

                                                                        Conversely, that same restaurant owner cannot refuse service to anyone who is of African-American heritage because under the law race is a protected class.

                                                            2. re: ipsedixit

                                                              From the original article, I'd say the owner made a reasonable effort to accommodate the diner.

                                                              But the suit is for "humiliation, embarrassment, and mental anguish". For being told that he wanted sashimi, not sushi? And that he could get that at a lower price? That's a bit of a stretch.

                                                          2. re: ipsedixit

                                                            I've worked on several patient advocacy projects addressing ADA compliance at medical facilities, so my understanding of ADA is somewhat skewed in that direction. With that said, my understanding is that the restaurant has to offer reasonable accommodations for patrons with disabilities to access their services. They do not have to alter the actual product or service to make it useful to any and all people with disabilities. Is the plaintiff going to start suing bakeries and candy stores that don't provide sugar free versions of his favorite treats?

                                                            1. re: mpjmph

                                                              I would imagine the only place those accommodations would be required are in places such as hospitals or retirement homes, where people have no other food choices.

                                                        2. Ay. This is the type of sitch that my husband calls the "no chickens in the edit bay" problem. First his students came to edit with 20 friends... so now a new rule on the syllabus. Then they came drunk... or brought their unchaperoned children... or kicked a hole the door because they got frustrated. The final was the crates of live chickens. A syllabus that was 3 pages became 20+.

                                                          Mr. Oh will end up with a sign stating that patrons must eat all they take. And the patron who previously could have said, "Oh, that one eel sushi was a bit too chewy," will end up penalized.

                                                          Anyone recall the Atkins dieter couple who was rebuffed at the husband's twelfth slice of roast beef?
                                                          and a follow up on that story:

                                                          Sadly, we can't legislate common sense.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                                                            Jean Kerr came up with her Please Don't Eat the Daisies rule for similar reasons. We've sure come a long way from the lovely and succinct "No shirt, no shoes, no service."

                                                            1. re: small h

                                                              LOL -- thanks for the daisy reminder.

                                                            2. re: DuchessNukem

                                                              Interesting articles. I would have thought a restaurant with a buffet implied all-you-can-eat.

                                                              1. re: dave_c

                                                                I know of a team who were asked to leave an AYCE because of the quantities they had consumed, and how long they had been there to do so. There are limits. How to impose that, is the difficulty. And I think I would be embarrassed to do what they did tbh. Never mind too mortified to ever think of going public after being booted for eating too much.

                                                                In any event, the roast beef mention is not the same as the AYCE sushi. Sushi is a combined dish, roast beef is a stand alone item.

                                                                btw, I know people who did the Atkins thing back then, I don't remember them being allowed to eat an entire side of beef as part of the diet.

                                                            3. Playing devil's advocate, I would just say that many people dont know that sushi means rice. To most of America, sushi means raw fish.
                                                              Perhaps the restaurant staff were really offensive and rude.
                                                              Perhaps there was no written policy at that restaurant.
                                                              Perhaps this person had zero understanding of what is expected and the restaurant's policy vague, ambiguous or not written at all.
                                                              Why would the person order sushi if the policy of having to finish the rice was clear?
                                                              When you go to an all you can eat breakfast/Chinese/Japanese buffet, you are allowed to continue eating even if you don't finish the food on your plate.
                                                              Just saying there are always two sides to every story.
                                                              See what law school does to you?

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: AdamD

                                                                hence veggo's comment upthread, counselor.

                                                              2. It seems like everything there is to be said on this subject has already been said, and now the conversation is just going in circles, and growing increasingly unfriendly. We're going to lock it now.

                                                                1. Isn't greed and hiding behind a disability great?