Urban Dining Guide
Brenda Carrillo was shocked when the waitress at Saint Marc, an upscale restaurant in Huntington Beach, asked her for her papers.
“Can I see your proof of residency?” the waiter asked.
“I need to make sure you’re from here before I serve you,” the waiter repeated.
Carrillo and her guest were left speechless.
“It was kind of hard to process because we’ve never experienced this,” said Carrillo.
Shortly after the initial confrontation, Carrillo’s sister, Diana, and another friend joined them. The waiter returned and asked the same question.
The group thought it was a joke at first, but realized he was serious because “he didn’t have a smile.”
“There was no indication that he was trying to make a joke or even possibly flirt with us,” said Carrillo.
“I’ve never felt so judged in my life It sends a chill through your entire body,” she said.
Thanks to Diana’s Facebook post, restaurant management reached out to her and apologized for the waiter’s behavior. They informed her that the waiter had been fired and that “this type of behavior will not be tolerated.”
Kent Bearden, senior director of operations for Saint Marc, said this is the first time he has heard of this and said the water was “not a new hire.”
“I was angry. I was sad,” Guillermina Carrillo said by phone Saturday. “It’s unacceptable. It’s something that shouldn’t have happened, not anywhere, not to nobody.”
Carrillo, 52, came to the United States from Mexico more than 30 years ago. She has been a citizen for two decades, working two jobs and raising her four daughters alone. Between her two jobs, she works 12 hours a day, six days a week.
“I raised my kids and taught them how to work, how to be a good person, I’ve been working hard all these years,” she said, as she struggled to hold back the tears.
Brenda said she isn’t worried about what happens to her and Diana because they were raised in California, but she fears what would happen to others with less confidence and knowledge of how the system works.