Food News

La Dorada Restaurant Owner Named in Sexual Assault Lawsuit

A lawsuit was filed in Miami-Dade County Court last week against Coral Gables restaurant La Dorada and restaurant president/director Domingo Gandara.

According to the complaint, Amanda Gonzalez, an 18-year-old hostess at the restaurant, was harrassed by Gandara from "the very beginning of her employment." Gonzalez, born in 1993, is now 19 years old.

Gandara allegedly told Gonzalez that she should "dress more sexy" and "show more." He also referred to the teen as "forbidden fruit," telling her that she was "very sexual."

According to the lawsuit, the talking turned physical when, after a

Saturday-night shift, Gandara insisted he walk the hostess to her car.

When he was alone with the young woman, Gandara sexually assaulted her.

The complaint states that Gandara "first grabbed and fondled Amanda's

breast. In the parking garage, Gandara pressed himself against her and

forcedly licked her face."

Gonzalez claims she felt "helpless, disgusted, and

violated" and did not return to work because that would have been

"unbearable and cause her great mental anguish." Though an exact dollar

amount is not stated, the claim for damages is listed as "in excess of

$15,000 exclusive of interest, costs, and attorney's fees."

Two days after the alleged assault, Gonzalez filed a police report January 30, 2012, with the Coral Gables Police Department (case number 12-000748). No arrests were made.

In addition, a charge of discrimination was filed with the Florida Commission on Human Relations on May 5, 2012, stating the incident took place "on or around January 13, 2012." 

On November 2, 2012, the EEOC closed its file on the charge, stating, "based upon its investigation, the EEOC is unable to conclude that the information obtained establishes violations of the statutes. This does not certify that the respondent is in compliance with the statutes. No finding is made as to any other issues that might be construed as having been raised by this charge."  According to Title VII of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the EECO also issued a "right to sue" statement, which granted Gonzalez a 90-day window in which to file a complaint.

Short Order

spoke with Manuel Vazquez, attorney for La Dorada and Domingo Gandara, who said he plans to fight the allegations. Vazquez stated, "My client has nothing to hide. There are no complaints before this. He is a gentleman. This is a way to make money by this girl."

Gandara has no criminal record in Miami-Dade County.  

Vazquez said he plans to "contest these charges very aggressively... The police never filed any charges against my client. My

client is clean. He's always been clean, clean, clean."

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss