You know how sometimes something is so utterly ludicrous that it defies any sort of comedic commentary? Such is the carnival that exists around the Salt Bae: beloved meme, Instagram phenomenon, maestro of core strength, bachelor father of 13, and the man behind a global chain of obscenely expensive restaurants.
No matter the quality of the food, you are not going to a Salt Bae restaurant just to eat: You are going to be seen, take selfies, and tell the world that you’re eating at the kind of establishment that attracts the sexiest of sexy people, like DJ Khaled and
Jonathan Cheban Foodgod. You go to experience what happens when normal food is made classy, such as this massive tomahawk ribeye steak covered in gold.
Florida man Duane Miranda visited the Miami location of Mr. Bae’s Nusr-Et steakhouse, fully aware that dinner was going to cost a pretty penny. (In fact, in speaking to the Miami Herald, Miranda stressed that he’s “no stranger to four- and five-figure checks.”) He had no issues with paying $50 for his sea bass entree, thought the $30 burrata and $35 beef tartare appetizers were reasonably priced, and didn’t mind the $25 baklava one bit.
After his party of six enjoyed their food, a Copacabana Mule ($30), two Tito’s martinis ($56), a Casamigos Reposada tequila ($27), two Glenfiddich 12 Year Old scotches ($52), two Grey Goose martinis ($56), one Don Julio Blanco tequila ($25), one bottle of 2017 Caymus Cabernet ($275) and five bottles of water ($50), it was time to settle the check. When it arrived, Miranda was shocked— shocked—to see that he had been charged $2,000 for two 24 karat gold coated highly marbled Wagyu tomahawk ribeyes, and another $1,000 for a rack of lamb, which was also covered in gold. Miranda had indeed ordered two tomahawk ribeyes and a rack of lamb, but he ordered the economy versions, priced at $275 and $210, respectively. He absolutely did not order the gold versions that his table was served. Miranda told the Herald that when he received the gold entrees, he thought the embellishment was simply part of a standard presentation.
It wasn’t until the bill arrived that Miranda figured out what had happened, and he was pissed. After he disputed the bill and declared that his group wouldn’t leave until the golden upcharge was removed, restaurant management responded by calling the police.
In his Yelp review, in which he refers to the Salt Bae as a “communist loving, piece of crap,” Miranda said he believes the waiter was trying to take advantage of the situation, and that “apparently, [Nusr-Et Miami] have contacted law enforcement 11 other times over billing disputes since the opened less than 2 years ago.” The Herald writes that police reports confirm this claim, though only three reports were actually filed, and none have been pursued further. The general manager, who would only identify himself to the Herald as Oguz, provided further clarification, saying that he had to call the police “only twice” last month.
After an hour with the police, Miranda and his five companions agreed to pay the bill, though he disclosed on Yelp that he did not pay the service charge that the restaurant “argued was included.” He has asked American Express to dispute the charge, but his search for justice has not ended there.
“I will make it my mission to expose these pieces of crap for what they are,” he writes on Yelp.
He brought the bones of the golden tomahawks home in a doggie bag and intends bring them to a lab for a full analysis of the allegedly 24-karat gold. One way or another, vengeance shall be his. Better watch your back, Salt Bae, if that’s even your real name.