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Foie Gras Ban Doesn't Apply to SF Social Club?

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

The California Foie Gras ban went into effect last week. Yet patrons of some San Francisco restaurants can still order the French delicacy. What gives?

Several clever chefs believe they have found the loophole around the law. The law states that California restaurants cannot sell duck and goose liver. Restaurants openly defying the law argue they are not "selling" the foie gras and that they are not in fact in California.

Chez TJ in Mountain View is openly defying the foie gras ban. As part of their $130 tasting menu, a patron will still be served the liver. However, the Northern California restaurant claims that the foie gras is complimentary with the $130 meal. So you're just paying for everything else, and the chef delivers the foie gras as a treat.

In San Francisco, the Presidio Social Club also still offers the liver. Similar to Chez TJ, the Presidio Social Club thinks they found a way around the law -- this time by arguing that the law does not apply to them. The restaurant is located on federal park land and the argument has been made that the California ban does not apply to them as they are not technically in California.

But before you start serving foie gras in your restaurant, be aware that animal activists are targeting these San Francisco restaurants that they believe are defying the foie gras ban. Regardless of whether they have the law on their side, these groups can make life difficult for restaurants with very public and very loud protests. Continued protests that hurt these businesses monetarily could force these restaurants to do what the law could not: eliminate serving foie gras.

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