Currently, there are only nine restaurants in California serving this illicit delicacy. So guess where Barack Obama went to eat while on a fundraising tour of San Francisco?
Via the SF Chronicle:
President Barack Obama, who signed the Shark Conservation Act into law last month, apparently didn't check out the menu before he made a surprise visit this week to a Chinatown restaurant that is among a handful still serving shark fin soup, a delicacy that has been outlawed in California.
The Great Eastern restaurant, a Chinatown landmark in San Francisco, has a $48 bowl of braised shark fin soup on its menu...
The New York Times shows some irritation at the Chronicle for ratting out the president:
Now, Mr. Obama didn’t buy or eat the soup. He stuck to dumplings, dumplings and more dumplings — the president is not known as a hugely adventurous eater. But that didn’t stop The San Francisco Chronicle from putting a photo of the president at the restaurant on its front page, accompanied by a caption that noted, pointedly, that he “signed the Shark Conservation Act” yet still went to the restaurant that serves the banned soup.
Now, now, ladies, simmer down. The Chronicle was quick to note the diners shrieked Obama;s name, while the Times repeats Jay Carney's claim that the president didn't study the menu that closely. So relax, bottom line is, you're still singing the praises of The One, and that's the important thing...
But was Obama really ignorant of the menu? Or could this be just another wink to his elitist brethren, letting them know that whatever crazy laws he signs into effect, they won't apply to either his monied favorites or the party faithful?
Seems like that might be the basis of the petulant outburst at the NYT. It's a secret code, don't you know, and the Chronicle leaked the key...
Unless, of course, Obama fancies himself as a black version of Carmine "Jimmy the Toucan" Sabatini, out of The Freshman:
Carmine - also known as "Jimmy The Toucan" - is not only a Mafia figure, he runs the Fabulous Gourmet Club, an illicit and nomadic establishment, never holding its festivities in the same place twice, where for enormous prices endangered animals are served as the main course, specially prepared by Larry London. Clark is told that "for the privilege of eating the very last of a species," a million dollars is charged.
"...and send the..tee hee..'soup special' out the back...got another 'fundraiser' tonight..."