On the Line: 'Sushi Dave' Fernandez of Sushi At the Venetian Gentlemen's Club, Part Two
Photo by Mary Pastrana
Our conversation continues, as Dave craves corned beef and pastrami across the street at Roscoe's Famous Deli. I realize this is probably his breakfast, lunch and even dinner (based on how busy he was in part one). If we didn't have places to be, I probably would've asked about the next destination in our impromptu restaurant crawl. Today's segment explains why Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday and what soda caps have to do with his childhood.
When you're not behind the sushi bar, what are you doing?
Spending time with my son, Brennen Alexander, and sleeping.
Last song playing on your radio/smart phone/iPod/etc:
Hustlers Anonymous' "Hit'em HA." Check them out on YouTube.
Having enough capital when opening a restaurant.
So . . . what IS the life of a sushi chef?
My passion is FOOD. The ability to give people food orgasms. Working hard and never saying no, not as with other sushi chefs. If people want jalapeños on their sushi, give it to them.
What's your favorite childhood memory?
Making play guns with a rubber band and clothespin, and then shooting my friends with soda caps.
What was Disneyland like on Leap Day?
So Filthy Phil came in for dinner and thought it would be a great idea to go to Disneyland when I got off. Disney was in complete chaos. I forgot my annual pass, so I went to Guest Services. They couldn't issue me a pass, and I was told to stand in the two-hour line to buy a ticket. I decided to cut straight to the front and buy a pass.
What were you up to five years ago?
Working at Ten Asian Bistro off MacArthur in Newport Beach.
Thanksgiving is the only holiday I don't have to cook for.
Why don't you wear contacts? Wouldn't it make your job easier?
The compressors from the sushi refrigeration unit cause my eyes to dry out.
Last movie watched:
Quantum of Solace [Editor's note: He's a fan of Bond, James Bond.]
Last thing you looked up/searched for online:
Where to find long-stemmed strawberries.
How has growing up in a multicultural family influenced you?
We grew up eating a lot of spicy foods. Being Mexican/Korean, I like using spices; they go well with fresh fish.
Do you have any skills that aren't food-related?
Painting, house restorations, fixing iPhones.
My buddy owns a business, theiphonebrothers.com. I've been learning the software side of it, such as how to jailbreak. He repairs screens, and I do the software. Tonight, my buddy will be there fixing four phones at his corner of the sushi bar. Customers come in and eat sushi while he's doing repairs. It works both ways. And you can get a lap dance at the same time.
What would you be doing if you weren't in this business?
Originally, I was supposed to be an architect out of high school. I took a job as a busser at El Torito Grill 18 years ago, and the rest is history.
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