It took me over six months to learn that Alejandro was on coke also. Alejandro was elderly, petite, dark-skinned Mexican chef in the kitchen. He was working the longest at Sushi on Sunset.
“Alejandro was there when I started working here eight years ago. The restaurant has been here for over twenty years, so I don’t know how long Alejandro has been working here, but I’m sure he is here a long time,” Toshi said.
It was time to ask.
“I’ve been working here over twenty years,” Alejandro told me.
We called Alejandro “Mario,” after Super Mario Brothers video game because of Alejandro’s mustache looked like the Mario’s. Alejandro, at first glance, did not appear to be friendly. He seemed crabby and quite, as I encountered him at the kitchen on my first day. He seemed angry, too and we were unsure why he seemed angry most of the time. Later I learned that Alejandro was just shy and quite guy. He did open up when he got drunk, though.
Supposedly, he did coke at least couple of occasions during the evening – one before the restaurant opened which was around five o’clock, then another one after the restaurant closed around one or two in the morning. Sometimes three times, when things got busy like on a weekend night.
What struck me was the fact that none of the coke users went out of control including Toshi and Kai. Well, I take it back. None of the chefs, but the waitress, boy, did they got emotional.
“That’s because the stuff we take is very very weak. It’s cut quite a bit,” Toshi told me.
I’ve never done coke because from what I’ve heard, it did not sound fun and I always felt that my body wouldn’t like it. Many times, other chefs at a restaurant asked me and said no. Many of my friends and people whom I met for the first time at a party asked me if I want to do a line or two and I kept saying no.
Toshi told me that doing it helps him during work: It gave me a good vibe: keeping him focused and relaxed at the same time. It was a very strange feeling I was unable to comprehend.
Even some of the waitresses were doing coke. There was one tall blonde girl named, Lillian. She was friendly and cute looking – the kind you would think popular among high school boys. She had that look. Until someone told me that she too was on coke most of the time, I had no idea.
The suppliers came in and out quite ofter. Some of the Latino waiters and bussers were one of the suppliers.
Javier was a Mexican waiter, who worked as sushi bar waiter on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. When busy, we needed someone to take a drinks order, bring out the kitchen orders, clean the bar table and so on. Sushi chefs took sushi order directly from the bar.
Javier worked as a bus boy occasionally and supplied coke to many of the restaurant staff and customers at the restaurant, l learned.
Maybe it was the location; maybe it was the owner of the restaurant, may e it was the people who worked there – I had no idea what drove all the people to do drugs. Either way, Sushi, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll went hand in hand at Rock ‘n Hollywood Sushi.