These Beasts: Lauren Lemos *SPECIAL 2 Part WAX PAPER EDITION!!!***
We first met Lauren and Peter when we got turned onto their restaurant Wax Paper. Like all savage beasts, our nature requires that we eat a whole lot of food. But, because we are also tender, intuitive, creatives–with an often daunting burden of discernment–we gravitate to places that provide something deeper than mere calories. At Wax Paper you can find copious servings of nourishment packaged as some of the most creative and enrapturing sandwiches imaginable. After one visit we were hooked, and after 2 visits we felt like regulars. We can't give enough praise to the brilliant establishment of contemporary nourishment that is Lauren and Peter's Wax Paper. So, here's 2 wizards of wow pulling back the curtain and inviting you even further into their glorious home.
1.) What’s your name?
Hello! My name is Lauren Lemos.
2.) Where are you from?
I was born on Honolulu, Hawaii, in the same hospital as President Obama (my claim to fame). My father was in the military, and we moved around a lot! I’d lived in five or six different places before the age of 10. My folks retired in San Diego, and that’s really where I grew up and met my lifelong friends, so it’s home to me. My folks still live there.
3.) Where do you live?
My husband Peter and I live in Silver Lake. We’ve been here about four years. It’s the closest place to home that I’ve felt living in LA.
4.) 3 reasons why your life in your city couldn’t happen anywhere else?
This is a hard one for me, because I’ve never held myself to one city, despite having lived in LA for over 10 years! Peter and I are always falling in love with new cities and imagining our lives there. But this is a great question, and I’d say #1 We’re lucky to have a majority of our friends and family out here (but always missing our friends and family across the country), #2 Virtually all of our professional colleagues and contacts are here, and it’s taken us 10 years to build these relationships, so we’d really be starting over elsewhere, and #3 Peter is the love of my life, and had I not had this life in this city, we would have never met!
5.) What kind of work do you do?
My husband and I own and operate a tiny, but mighty, 226sqft neighborhood corner sandwich shop called Wax Paper on the northeast side of Los Angeles.
6.) What keeps you inspired?
My husband, Peter. My family, my friends, my coworkers...they constantly inspire me. Theatre inspires me greatly. Every time I see a play or a musical, I feel recharged. I’m overcome with a rush of energy to run out and accomplish big things, because theatre to me is just pure magic. Everything that goes into a production, the love/passion/dedication, and the idea of just creating a unique performance every time—that’s incredible. That’s kind of the vibe at the shop. It’s an open kitchen production, nowhere to hide, and it’s sort of like being on stage, except we aren’t playing a character, we’re just being ourselves. Every day is a little different over here.
7.) Where do you work?
Imagine a seemingly sleepy and quiet neighborhood with punches of sounds; Dogs barking, birds chirping, kids playing, a car passing by every few minutes or so. You will walk through our door and smell a mix of things that feel like home; Coffee, pickles, fresh bread, cheese being grated. You’ll hear familiar music from all eras and genres, probably something like The Temptations, Tom Petty, Sharon Jones, or Weird Al, haha! Mix that in with sounds of spoons clanking on a mixing bowl or sandwich papers being put into boxes. Someone is there to greet you, ask how you’re doing, how your day is going, if it’s your first time stopping by, hoping that it is so they can ring Lauren’s father’s naval ship bell for you, (a warm token and tradition of our affection). We’d ask if you’d like any suggestions on which sandwich you should order, and then proceed to (innocently) recommend the entire menu to you, haha! As you wait for your food, you’ll hear friendly folks coming and going, commenting on our family photos, our what’s in season chart, or the coconut pirate head that my best friend Kate gave me when I was 18 that hangs from a sandwich skateboard fashioned by Peter’s brother Loren. You’ll get a meal that was made fresh to order, and taste something that was made with thought, love, and care, hopefully enjoy, and then want to come back again!
8.) What is 1 challenge that has defined you for at least one chapter of your life?
Opening our own business for sure! I learned more about myself and others than one could ever imagine. You reach new levels stress, met with heartbreak and disappointment, but also gain a better sense of patience, humanity, kindness, and life-lessons.
9.) What are some of your favorite snacks, and do you eat them while you work?
I love popcorn and I love guacamole haha. I don’t have a microwave at home or work, but I eat my fair share of avocado at both!
10.) If you had the power to be extremely persuasive, and you were invited to a presidential dinner, what kind of food allergy would you persuade everyone to believe you had?
Ahhhh gosh, that’s tough because food allergies are terrifying and I take them so seriously plus I truly love every type of food. Can I make it a fun answer and say I won’t be going to any presidential dinners with this current administration? Haha!