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Restaurant serves up threatened species

Lions, peacocks and iguanas, oh my!

Meat from all of the above — and other exotic choices such as swan — have been offered at Mokutanya Yakitori restaurant in Burlingame.

For a limited time, the restaurant is now offering African lion, farm-raised in Illinois and shipped to the Bay Area.

The meat doesn’t come cheap: $70 a skewer for about three cubes or 5 ounces of meat. The restaurant has stocked enough to serve for another two weeks or so, Jason Li from Mokutanya Yakitori told CBS-SF.

The big cat meat has activists roaring mad about a threatened species being served on a stick — even if it is legal.

African Lion is not considered endangered, it is still at risk of going extinct, the SPCA told CBS-SF.

Whether it’s the hefty price or the idea of eating a threatened species, some people are finding it hard to swallow, literally. Customers who are brave enough to tackle the price and the controversy — like Andy Lee of San Mateo — told CBS-SF the meat was on the tough side:

“It’s a little tougher than I expected. It’s kind of between beef and chicken.”

Lion is is the king of the jungle, after all.

This is the second time lion has been served at Mokutanya Yakitori. Last year the lion meat sold out in a week.

Mokutanya Yakitori is one of the few restaurants in the country to serve up the big cat with success. A restaurant in Florida quit offering the exotic meat after protests, but the Burlingame restaurant shows no signs of giving up any time soon.

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