By Preston Long
ECHO PARK, CA — Anyone looking for something a little different from the local food scene is sure to be impressed by last Thursday’s opening of Paper Tempest, a fusion restaurant that combines Mediterranean food with a money laundering scheme.
“Fusion restaurants should take risks,” said owner and head chef Mike Douglas, sliding a black duffel bag labeled ‘ingredients’ under a table. “And what’s riskier than hiding narcotics sales in a restaurant that has an entire hummus menu?”
Paper Tempest’s signature dish is chicken souvlaki, which Douglas slow-roasts over a fire made from his financial records. For diners with more refined palates, he recommends the seared squid ink sack. “We only serve it when rival mobs fire warning shots through our window. The squid’s subtle umami flavor is greatly enhanced by the pungent aroma of white-hot lead. We also serve a lovely braised horse head, when available.”
When asked to give advice to aspiring chefs, Douglas emphasized the importance of a thick skin. “Don’t be discouraged by snobby critics who say your work is ‘uninspired,’ or bloggers who say it’s ‘unappetizing,’ or financial consultants who say it’s, ‘a felony punishable by up to two decades in prison,’ or unsupportive crap like that.”
“In this business, the only opinion that matters is your own, and the opinion of Louie ‘The Bull’ Perron, who demands a cut of all profits and never saw a veggie-chopping hand he wouldn’t break.”
After the successful launch of Paper Tempest, Douglas announced a new project that is sure to excite foodies everywhere: a food truck that he will also use to commit armed robbery.
Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash