You can expect your waiter to ask all kinds of questions when he approaches the table, but, "Can I see your proof of residency?" is not among them. Nevertheless, that's what four female diners experienced at the upscale Saint Marc restaurant in Huntington Beach, Calif., earlier this month, reports the Orange County Register. One of them, 23-year-old Brenda Carrillo, recalls to the Los Angeles Times that she was dumbfounded as the waiter elaborated, "I need to make sure you're from here before I can serve you." The four women complained to a manager and left the restaurant, and Carrillo's sister, Diana, then posted about their treatment online. After the post began drawing reactions, the restaurant apologized online and said the waiter had been fired.
"In no way are the actions of this former employee representative of the Saint Marc brand nor are they reflective of the opinions of anyone else on our team, including executive management," said a restaurant statement. A Saint Marc exec says the waiter explained that he meant the question as a joke, but the women say he clearly did not. Saint Marc offered to bring the women back for VIP treatment and donate 10% of the night's proceeds to a charity of their choice. They declined the first but asked that the money go to a group that helps undocumented immigrants. The Carrillo sisters, described by Brenda as "light-skinned Latinas," do not fall into that category, for the record. They were born and raised in California. "It sends a chill through your entire body," says Diana of the incident. (Read another story of dining-gone-wrong in California.)