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frenchlaun.jpg Tired of waiting for a table to open up at The French Laundry?

For $5,000, one political fundraising committee is offering to get donors in the door to dine on chef Thomas Keller's world-famous cuisine.

"Yes We Can," formed to support Latino candidates and issues, has invited supporters willing to fork over four figures to join "special guest" Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, D-Artesia, and other members of the Latino Legislative Caucus at a luncheon Oct. 11.

Raising cash at the Michelin-rated Yountville establishment comes at a cost. The committee, which has yet to contribute to any candidate or issue-specific PAC, reported paying the three-star restaurant more than $22,000 to cover fundraising expenses, according to its campaign finance filings.

But Julie Sandino, the Democratic fundraiser organizing the lunch, said holding a "signature event" at the pricey restaurant was actually a smart money move.

"Believe it or not, going to the French Laundry is half the cost of putting on a golf tournament," she told Capitol Alert recently.

It's less of a deal for a donor. A seat at the fundraiser costs more than 18 times the price of the prix-fixe menu, which runs about $270 per head before wine.

But of course, that assumes there's a table available.

Please Join Chairman Mendoza and Caucus at the French Laundry Oct 11

PHOTO CREDIT: French Laundry, world-famous restaurant in nondescript old home on Washington Street in Yountville. No sign, just a plaque near the door. Photo courtesy of French Laundry.



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