In the state, the bluegills, an invasive species that is found throughout the state and that was once a food source for millions, are considered a nuisance.
The fish grill has a list of the species it is known to eat and it’s unclear if the blue gills have any effect on the restaurant’s menu.
But the owners say it’s not their intent to offend.
“We’re not offended, but the fish is the one thing that we’re worried about,” said Kevin Ruggles, who owns the restaurant.
“We don’t want people coming in to our restaurant with that question in their mind and saying, ‘Oh, I don’t like the bluefish.'”
The restaurant is not the only one in the state to be criticized for using fish names.
The Southern California Restaurant Association recently voted to ban the use of names other than the “bluefish” on menus and the association has since filed a lawsuit against the state.
“This is a common problem in California, and the solution is to make sure the name is not associated with a fish,” said Steve Bierman, executive director of the state association.
California lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban all fish names, including the blue, to prevent confusion among diners.
The bill would also require restaurants to be registered as “certified food service” or “certification of food preparation,” whichever is more restrictive.
The proposed bill also would require food establishments to post a sign that warns diners not to eat the fish.
The legislation, which would be introduced this week, comes after an outcry from diners over a bluegilla menu item that had to be changed after a local television station aired a clip of the restaurant using the name.
In response to the outcry, state Sen. Bob Hertzberg (R-Bakersfield) has said he wants to see a bill to outlaw the use and sale of all names of animals, including fish, on menus.