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Communism-Themed Hot Pot Restaurant Opens in California

Every themed restaurant is a little bit weird, right? Going out to eat should be about food, not about pretending you are in the rainforest or watching semi-employed actors from South Jersey joust or remembering that Forest Gump was an overrated movie to begin with. (Six Academy Awards the same year Pulp Fiction came out? Come on Academy members!) That said, some themed restaurants are even weirder than others.

A restaurant recently opened in Monterey Park, California, called Private Party Restaurant. No, the name isn’t hinting that the restaurant is available for rental for events. Instead, it’s a nod to the Chinese Communist Party – this eatery is themed around the heyday of Mao Zedong’s communist rule in China.

Though the restaurant doesn’t seem to distinguish itself with its menu – family-style hot pot – the rest of the experience is probably unlike any other restaurant you’ll find in the America: Waiters dress in Red Guard military uniforms; walls are adorned with 1960s-style propaganda posters (though the slogans are humorous, not indoctrinating—“If you don’t eat, how will you have the strength to lose weight?”). Apparently, these types of communist retro-styled restaurants have become popular in Northern China from where some of Private Party’s owners come, so they thought they’d bring this unique and “fun” concept to the States.

“Yes, sometimes people get a bit offended,” co-owner Jessica Zhang told the LA Weekly. Seriously. All the profits from the restaurant go to the owners. That should offend communists everywhere!