By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
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