By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by Jack GouldPerhaps my once-plundered public missed the news that some cronies and I have a new deal for you: an Italian restaurant called Bella Luna in Huntington Beach. When you walk up to the host stand, look down: I'll be the maitre d' at about waist level. Please don't punch me. A certain alternative newsweekly's lies forced me to plead guilty to felony conflict-of-interest charges and step down from the City Council. Because of my rap sheet, my high-powered buds are going to have to grease some bureaucrats to get me a liquor license. So I can't yet recommend a wine, but here are my favorite menu choices:
Bribery Bruscchetta . . . $196.95
You'll be ready to trade your vote for our toasted bread that's topped with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, olive, cheese—and stuffed with fifties. Simply duplicitous!
Caesar Complex Salad . . . $43.50
You'll feel like a betrayed empire builder when you dig into our romaine lettuce, croutons and Parmesan cheese. Knavery never tasted so good!
Conflict-of-Interest Cheese Ravioli . . . $65.69
Don't worry, boys, no one's looking as you filch our pasta in light pink sauce with roasted red peppers and arugola roasted garlic. Subterfugerrific!
Linguine and Shrimp Fit for a Shrimp . . . $92.50
I still remember the first time I ambled into the kitchen, looked up from the floor at Mama Garofalo and tugged on her apron. It was just last week! She was making this dupe-worthy dish with spicy tomato sauce and beguiled garlic. No gyps! (This time.)
Chicanery Chicken Marsala . . . $81.54
You don't have to be a municipal scam artist to enjoy our chicken breast that's sautťed and fraud, I mean, fried and served with a sauce of mushrooms, garlic, shallots and illegal gifts from developers, I mean, marsala wine.
Purloined Sirloin . . . $173.95
You'll buy off more than you can chew with our burgled boneless beef in a connivingly savory gravy with fraudulently fresh mushrooms. Served with out-of-season seasonal vegetables.
Fulla Baloney Spumoni . . . $30
This classic recipe has been in my family for generations. We stole it from a family down the block.
—as told to Matt Coker