MORGAN HILL, Calif. (KTVU) - A high-end restaurant, owned by a Michelin-rated chef, in Morgan Hill must pay up. Authorities said the restaurant secretly served cheaper tilapia to customers when they ordered a more expensive cut of fish.
Located in downtown Morgan Hill, Odeum is an upscale Mediterranean restaurant locals rave about and for Karen Caprista, she raves about the restaurant's petrale sole.
“It’s delicious,” said Caprista. “I love it. It's really good. I’m a big fish person and we have another place on the coast so we are used to fresh fish.”
She’s been ordering it for the past two years. It’s on the menu for $31. It what she may have been eating lower quality tilapia.
“Oh wow that's not good,” said Caprista. “That's a bummer. That's too bad.”
“Can we use counterfeit money to pay for the meal?” said Bill Sueksdorf of Morgan Hill.
“It’s a shame it would happen,” said Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Deng. “When you talk about high prices and this sort of behavior to be occurring, it’s a shame.”
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said early last year they received a complaint. After launching an investigation, they discovered from October of 2014 to March of 2016, the restaurant was switching fish and confirmed it with the vendor.
“They found receipts for tilapia even though there was no tilapia on the menu,” said Deng.
Both fish are white and mild, but the cost of petrale sole up to three times more than tilapia.
“In this particular instance, my understanding is the restaurant served it with sauce on top, perhaps with breading to make it more difficult for a customer to know,” said Deng.
A settlement was reached Wednesday with the restaurant and its Michelin-rated chef Salvatore Calisi. The restaurant had no comment. While some may consider, the restaurant's bait and switch scheme sole-less, Greg Brown still plans to dine here.
“Gosh it's such a great landmark restaurant here in Morgan Hill,” said Brown. “I hope the restaurant can do well going into the future.”
The restaurant must pay $120,000 for false advertising and misbranding. Odeum will be also offering $30 gift certificates f or customers who ordered petrale sole at that time.