The owner and operator of a famous Mexican restaurant in La Merada is suing a man who allegedly tarnishes his reputation on Yelp by falsely saying that the restaurant serves “terrible” food, that management is “nuts” and that the company is not affiliated with the original Los Angeles site.
Former Pico Rivera mayor Ron Belk filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Norwalk High Court against Jairo Castillo, citing defamation, underestimating trade and interfering with potential economic advantage and contractual relationships. Beilke is seeking at least $ 1 million in damages, as well as unspecified punitive damages.
The lawsuit says Castillo, a former La Merada employee, resigned in September. He could not be reached for comment.
La Mirada El Tepeyac restaurant opened on Imperial Highway in 2019. Like the original Evergreen Avenue location that has operated in Boyle Heights since 1955, La Mirada El Tepeyac’s menu features large burritos, including Hollenbeck and the 5-pound “Manuel’s Special.”
The restaurant always challenges customers to take their “Manuel’s Special” in one visit.
According to the cafe’s website, “many have tried over the years, but few have succeeded.”
According to the lawsuit, Castillo in September began “a calculated scheme to destroy” the “La Merada site,” with sites such as “This place is disgusting, don’t go there,” “The food is disgusting and cold” and “Don’t waste your time or money,” according to the lawsuit.
Castillo also wrote: “This place is horrible. The food is horrible. Management is crazy,” the lawsuit says.
Castillo added: “This place is a shame for claiming that it is part of the original and for using their logo when they are not online,” according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges that Castillo knew the posts were untrue and that he acted “with reckless disregard” regarding their content.