[UPDATED: Restaurant Makes Peace with a 'PETA-rita' Margarita] Pink Taco in Century City Celebrates Cinco de Mayo By Painting a Donkey Pink and Chaining it to the Restaurant

Categories: News, Really?!?!?
pinktacodonkey.jpg
@BenDecker
UPDATE, May 9, 7:33 P.M.: After the jump, the restaurant "clears up some misunderstandings" about the donkey and offers a special PETA-themed drink. 

UPDATE, MAY 7, 6:22 P.M.: After the jump, people protest and restaurant owner Harry Morton speaks!  

UPDATE, MAY 6, 5:35 P.M.: : Corey Conrad, who handles special events at Pink Taco, confirmed that the Twitter account @pinktaco_la is not theirs and does not know who runs it. He says Pink Taco will release a formal statement about the ordeal next week.  

ORIGINAL POST, MAY 5, 11:58 P.M.: Some restaurants get festive with some streamers and a piñata. Others spray paint a live donkey, tag it with their company name and chain it to their entrance. 

That is exactly how Pink Taco in Century City celebrated Cinco de Mayo. 


I wonder what marketing dimwit, sloshed off too many overpriced margaritas, came up with the genius idea.

The glaringly pink donkey, standing in 85-degree-plus heat, was sighted by several concerned passersby, who instantly turned to Twitter and Facebook. 

The Facebook page Boycott Pink Taco Century City was immediately launched, urging people to complain to the manager. Since then, Pink Taco has pulled the plug entirely on its social media presence, deleting its Twitter and Facebook accounts, as reported by the vegan food blog quarrygirl.com

An officer gave Pink Taco a cease-and-desist order, making the restaurant take down the "display" as it didn't have a permit, according to a woman named Serina Romeo, who has been making phone calls all day about the issue. Romeo says the officer checked for signs of animal cruelty, and found that the paint was not toxic and adequate food and water were provided. 

A representative from Pink Taco could not immediately be reached.  

Apparently, "Pinky" the pink donkey has been the mascot of Pink Taco since as early as July 2007, when the first Los Angeles location opened. Watch a stereotype-loaded video here.  

It seems that protests are being planned. We'll keep you posted.


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84 comments
Painters in oklahoma city
Painters in oklahoma city

Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. 

Diana
Diana

"The employees of Pink Taco love and respect animals and would never do anything to harm or cause discomfort to an animal"oh, Pink Taco only serves vegan food?

Rainbowstorm
Rainbowstorm

At first I must admit I was disgusted.

However, they did use non-toxic paint.

The donkey was being fed a reasonable amount of food/water.

I believe the donkey was in the shade. (?)

And even so, are donkeys not animals that can withstand hot weather conditions, due to the fact that they were born in the desert.

And he also seemed to be wearing protective, removable shoes.

I don't mean to be rude or anything but I'm a bit curious as to why people are still angry, once they have read this?

Rocky Stanza
Rocky Stanza

I was trying to think why you would put so much focus on such a boring, bullshit story, which should deserve no more than a sentence or two, if that, and then I understood: it's a hell of a lot easier and cheaper than doing careful reviews of restaurants, food trucks, farmers markets, etc. Trouble is, the reviews are useful and far more interesting than this crap. How about moving on to something you'll be proud to show with your resume a few years down the road? -Rock

The Yakima Kid
The Yakima Kid

It's a DONKEY! A member of a desert species that has been domesticated for thousands of years. A creature that is to this day used by prospectors in the various desert portions of the west for packing and company. Feral donkeys live quite happily in deserts throughout the American west. For a donkey to stand around and doze in 85 degree F weather is a vacation.

I think that the people being dramatic about this need to spend some quality time with John Burro before they decide that he is being oppressed.

Guest
Guest

Platero dice »¡k kapullos!«

jenny
jenny

Hey have you guys heard they're opening up a seafood chain. It's going to be called the Hairy clam.

kim
kim

Seriously though why would you name your restaurant pink taco? I guess scrambled eggs between the legs wouldn't fit on a sign.

Jack
Jack

If the employees of Pink Taco are used to seeing cock fights in the towers when delivering their food to the attorneys and talent firms, then, maybe THERE IS a conceivable reason why they'd mistake this for an intelligent idea. I wouldn't worry with the rental company. They seem to be taking adequate care within legal guidelines. But, I'd skip eating a taco from a group of people with no better judgement, or anything else there, other than chips or a can of soda.

Pat Kittle
Pat Kittle

What should we expect from a culture that wants the US to legalize torturing dogs to death for fun & profit?

Shaggy
Shaggy

"Pink Taco"?! Even the name exudes class.

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i love donkey tacos
i love donkey tacos

PETA people are dorks. Donkeys are from the desert that gets 120 degrees. The animal is fine. Pink Taco is my new favorite restaurant.

Guest
Guest

Pink Taco stop using live animals- its cruel and does not make me want to eat at your restaurant. Didn't you do the same thing last year with a different donkey? Leave the poor animals alone. There are better ways to entertain your customers without exploiting animals. Pink Taco should publicly retract what they did.

emily
emily

seriously, are u kidding me?

im sure donkeys have been in way worst condition then this pink one! it's a joke calm yo tits down.

also, i think a donkey can stand a bit of heat and concert. have you forgotten that donkeys can kill mountain lions?

Dumbfounded
Dumbfounded

I cannot believe anyone thinks that the "new twitter" page is the company. Jesus.

PS Stop getting your vaginas in a twist, go do some real animal activism.

Nobody
Nobody

A place called Pink Taco? Seriously? Yay degenerate society...You make me feel very annoyed at times. I'd never eat at this place on principal. Some of us still have a shred of class.

str8UP
str8UP

i think it IS pretty funny and kinda cool GO PINK TACO! woooo!

definitely gonna

go today

jenny
jenny

stop. it. people. can we focus on the AMAZING tweets from @pinktacola? way to have a solid sense of humor. i'd like to meet them. HILARIOUS all around.

tdown
tdown

People - the name on the door is "Pink Taco"! Do you really think they care - this is EXACTLY the kind of reaction they wanted. It will be on CNN tonight. Americans lose interest in 48 hours but they will certainly remember the name - "didn't i see that place on CNN?".

MrBingham917
MrBingham917

I agree with the few dissenters on this board. The donkey was fed, shaded, and cared for. I don't see any way this could be conceived as animal cruelty. With the exception of some bleeding hearts who have too much time on their hands, and a very unclear grip on priorities in their life. As long as they're not butchering it, beating it, or playing pin the tail on the donkey, I see no foul here. For all we know, this was probably the best day of that poor animals entire life.

Choose your battles people, there are MUCH worse things going on in this state/country/planet than a restaurant painting a donkey pink for a day.

Congrats Pink Taco, and I commend your sense of humor on this issue, instead of curtailing your stance the second someone throws up their arms.

johnny
johnny

This is far from cruel. At worst it's degrading and humiliating for the animal, both abstract concepts that don't apply to animals in the first place. It must be a slow news day if all you can find to complain about is a painted donkey. Tasteless? sure. But cruel? Come on. Nobody complains when fast food franchises have PEOPLE standing outside in chicken costumes or sandwich boards in the middle of summer. Where are all the so-called "humane" protesters then? You people need to get your damn priorities straight.

Alyssa Boyle
Alyssa Boyle

This is wrong on so many levels. And the video made them look even worse, if possible. Good job, Serina!

John J.
John J.

but they gave him little shoes... doesn't that count for something?

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Where is your anger against the people who spray-paint the donkeys and stand on the corners of Revolution Avenue in Tijuana, having people take pictures with the donkeys? Where is your anger against the people who spray-paint their pets for Hallowe'en and then shackle them and walk them around so they can get candy?

Pink Taco can't attract people who actually know what good food and drink is, and it's pretty much ignored by everyone in the immediate vicinity, so it has to do stunts like this to pull in the bros. A stupid, stupid stunt pulled by a restaurant with a deliberately obscene name, whose food is actually below Acapulco's in quality.

The whole thing is stupid, that donkey should be turned out into a refuge where he can wander and graze and live a happy, non-pink existence, and Pink Taco deserves all the mockery they get—but the best thing you can do is vote with your feet and patronize restaurants who deserve your money.

</SOAPBOX>

Kristinfilippi
Kristinfilippi

Not cool at all. Why would anyone ever think it is ok to treat an animal that way. Spread the word that is not acceptable!

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

And then, after they go there, they'll pay the price for their terrible selective memory. That place... sucks, is really the only word for it. It's so bad it sucks while drunk—and even Oki Dog can't claim that.

johnny
johnny

Word. What's the saying? "There's no such thing as bad publicity"...

Sorely Frickey
Sorely Frickey

Hi, Mr. Bing! How you bees?! Oh, sorry -- well, who needs a brain, really?

Anyhoo, what is your considered opinion on the impact of this kind of disrespect for animals on young kids, who may not have your sophisticated mental-type processes? Or do you include drive-by children in the group of "bleeding hearts who have too much time on their hands, and a very unclear grip on priorities in their life" that -- I'm guessing here -- you love to denounce over beer and peanuts? Chomp, chomp, slurp, burp.

mlbne
mlbne

ok, what part of 'HOBBLED' don't you people understand? look at his feet! all four feet are locked together so that he can move his feet ALL DAY. and have him standing on cement in 85% heat, which when it hits cement and gets nothing but hotter. Please let handuff you ankles, tie your hands behind you, shave your ass and paint it pink and stand you on cement all on Century Blvd. You can bet that the donkey has also been taught not to pee outside his stall because no one wants to buy food standing next to donkey urine. So they give him water all day and he cant pee for 10 to 12 hours. oh yea, no abuse here.

xclamationmarcus
xclamationmarcus

There's nothing wrong with expressing distaste for poor taste, though, is there?

Cruelty may definitely turn me off a restaurant, but so does crassness and tacky marketing stunts.

your jokes suck
your jokes suck

I wasn't offended by any of this until you came by and started defending yourself. You come across as a needle-dicked douchebag who probably laughs at his own jokes.

Guest
Guest

"Where is your anger against the people who spray-paint their pets for Hallowe'en and then shackle them and walk them around so they can get candy?"

Hey, that's a new one to me. Part of the new, improved, diverse OC?

MayhemInTheHood
MayhemInTheHood

Right on.

Or even worse, where's the outrage for those poor donkeys that are used to carry people and their stuff down the Grand Canyon and then back up? That looks like grueling work! Save the donkeys...end Grand Canyon tours.

I bet as far as donkey gigs go, this one was probably pretty stoked it wasn't in Tijuana taking pictures in the sun all day, or carrying the Griswold family and their matched luggage up and down the Grand Canyon.

Regardless, maybe people need to work their asses off a little less these days.

DanGarion
DanGarion

Fortunately I've never seen someone paint their pet and parade them around for Halloween. And although we own a dog grooming shop we would never do any type of dying or painting on a dog.

Mrbingham917
Mrbingham917

Your post makes hardly any sense, so here goes nothing...

As far as my considered opinion of the impact on little kids: If their parents are doing their right job, then this should not be an issue at all, they need to use a little thing that I had growing up called common sense. Hell, if anything this could help them with their art skills and make them want to take up a paint brush, who knows?

As far as the Drive-by children being in the group of bleeding hearts? No, those are unfortunate victims of the dregs of society engaging in some stupid pissing contest with total disregard for anybody other than themselves.

The people I would place into that group are the rich white people who have nothing more to worry about with their lives than crying foul over the smallest items whilst actual travesties, like the afformentioned drive-by children victims, suffer.

hopefully that answered your questions.

The Yakima Kid
The Yakima Kid

Excuse me? Those are not hobbles; those are the removable shoes (NOT quarter boots or bell boots) that are often used to protect the feet of both shod and unshod animals on pavement. The donkey doesn't urinate outside of his/her stall? You claim to have had horses for twenty years and you think anyone can teach an equine to deliberately injure itself, especially a donkey which looks like Einstein compared to the brightest horse that ever lived? A donkey wouldn't stand for it! If you really had the slightest clue about equines, you'd know that a disgusted, fatigued, or overloaded donkey will simply lie down and refuse to get up. This tendency of long ears even shows up in mules - it is not uncommon for a mule team to test a new driver by lying down before pulling even a few steps.

What I see a lot of on this page are comments about equines, especially donkeys, from people who would need a field guide to tell a feral donkey from a nanny goat standing alongside the highway. We all have opinions, but it is very sad when policy is made based on the opinions of those with no actual knowledge of the issues involved and who are just repeating opinions they have heard from others.

Yourdirtymind1
Yourdirtymind1

The part no one understands is why you are making up this "hobbling" nonsense. The donkey's hooves were most certainly not tied together in any way. The little strings are the drawcords on the standard booties that are put on hooved animals when they will be on hard surfaces. Stop making stuff up to support your total lack of a point. Oh, and heat isn't measured in percent.

johnny
johnny

Firstly, I never said there was anything wrong with expressing distaste. Quite the opposite actually. That's fine, but lumping poor taste and cruelty into the same boat is reckless, morally lofty, and just plain silly. If you don't wanna go back to this restaurant that's just fine, this is America after all, where people can choose not to patronize venues because of, as you put it "crassness and tacky marketing stunts". My point is, that's all this is at it's worst. And if you have the option to find it in poor taste, they have the option to express that lack of taste. Furthermore, as I stated, people love to behave morally lofty when it comes to animal rights, but where are these people when there are actually humans that go through this who actually understand degradation and humiliation, who have to stand outside here in LA in worse heat? I don't see anybody posting blogs about that. This is a sensational news bite meant to evoke just the reaction that many have expressed. But, this is America, you know? Freedom of the press and all that jazz :-)

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

Actually, it's mostly Whites who do that, in my experience...

Applesauce
Applesauce

Mules whom are bred to be PACK mules are used to ferry passengers up and down the grand canyon for those who are willing to pay top dollar. Passenger must not exceed the weight maximum and rides only take place during the coolest times of the day. Luggage is typical driven down or packed onto mules that follow along in the line. Lord, most of the time the humans are quit before the mules are. And i agree, this Donkey had it pretty well off. Assuming the paint on the bare skin didn't affect its ability to sweat. (pretty important if you ask me)

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Yeah, those dye jobs are always amateur hour anyway.

Pat Kittle
Pat Kittle

@5c8cbb180ceb77f00ad0368567db0e1e:disqus MrBingham917,

Are you blaming white people for drive-bys?

If so, tell us where this is happening.

DanGarion
DanGarion

Next you are going to say, shaving a donkey down and painting it pink is normal too...

mlbne
mlbne

Ok Yakima, they are HOBBLES! Equine boots do not tie their legs together! Already posted a pic of hobbles to educate you. Here is a pic of equine boots, which these are NOT. http://www.softrideboots.com/D... Go write about something you know. or better yet, let me ties your legs up, tie your hands behind your back and paint your ass pink and have you stand on concrete for 12 hours and then maybe you'll change your opinion to how humane it was. but don't worry, ill give you water and food (both of which i didn't see in the pic, so not sure how you know it was provided). Do you work for these idiots?

mlbne
mlbne

Look at his feet again. u obviously have MUCH experience with equine. NOT! all four of his feet are hobbled, which mean that they are kept together with a steel contraption much like handcuffs so they cannot move their feet at all.. i don't know what the heck you are referring to as far as little 'drawcords'? Having had horses for over 20 years, I have never heard or seen any such thing. the only things put on equine besides shoes are boots and these are not boots. http://www.google.com/imgres?i...

As far as % for degrees, I guess you have never made a typo.

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