I do have to confess that there were a couple of occasions I did drugs during work.
On one Saturday night, I smoked pot about one hour before we closed. Fridays and Saturdays were busy at most restaurants and Sunset strip usually attracted “weekend” crowd – many tourist types, out of towners, valley girls and teens and young males from inland empire, who live in cities like Pomona, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, which were over 30 miles outside of the city of Hollywood. When those people flocked to the restaurant, it was sake bomb time. Many youngsters loved to buy us sushi chefs anything with alcohol and drunk with us. Sometimes, we could be buzzed or drunk by 10 PM. Because the restaurant was open till 2 AM on weekends, being drunk on our feet, making sushi required lot of energy and will power.
This particular night, we probably had three shots of sake bomb, one large bottle of Asahi each by midnight. Still, two hours to go and many more sushi to make, we decided to smoke some pot – just for the hell of it. It seemed liked a good idea to take off the pressure. Why not have fun? Most of the patrons in the restaurants were drunk anyway, we thought. Who would care and notice if sushi chefs were stoned?
We went outside through the back door, lit the marijuana cigarette we got from one of the bus boys, smoked, and came back quickly. Before I knew, I was so high that everything was in slow motion and I had to fight it to keep moving to fill the order. I looked at my ticket, picked up the Salmon Saku block, made a few slices for nigiri, grabbed some sushi rice and formed into nigiri. The temperature of rice felt strange and I told Toshi about it and he too said the rice felt different.
“It’s kind of warm and cold at the same time,” I said.
I kept looking back my ticket, and the plate of sushi to make sure I had everything. I thought I had everything and left the plate for the waitress to pick up. The order wasn’t that huge, but it felt like was a big order, which took fifteen minutes to make. I thought I spent too much time making that order after realizing there were only less than ten pieces of sushi on a plate, but I knew I had the order right because I double checked. The only problem was that I was high. The waitress looked at the ticket and checked the sushi on the plate. “Hey Kaz, there are only four pieces of Salmon Nigiri here. The ticket says four orders, not four pieces,” Kira said. “Really? Oh, sorry, I made a mistake,” I said to her and quickly picked up the plate. I had a big grin on my face and I knew Kira sensed there was something going on with me. One order of nigiri consists of two pieces; I had to make four more. I had no idea why I thought I had four orders of nigiri on the plate. I reached for the Salmon Saku one more time. The idea of making additional four pieces of Nigiri felt such an effort. My hands and body refused to corporate with me. Again, it felt like I spent five minutes making just four pieces of nigiri, which would normally take less than a minute to make.