Rachel, a refugee from the apparently shuttered Three Monkeys Restaurant downtown, is now a waitress at Ju Hachi. We talked some about the somewhat schizophrenic restaurant—sushi and barbecue—not making its nut and the fate of former employees. Two of the guys behind the counter at Monkeys practiced wild invention: Ross and Twan. Twan popped Thai peppers like Chiclets, and his creations’ heat had to be ratcheted down significantly from the level he thrived on. In particular, vinegary sauce over seared ahi that had an afterburn almost as excruciatingly long as the Bush administration. Ross would gladly modify menu items, like adding avocado to the poke salad or sprinkling the spicy tuna roll with red bell pepper salsa. There’s a certain confidence level needed with a chef before crossing the Rubicon of “Make me whatever you want.” This level was reached quickly with Ross and Twan. Hopefully, others are enjoying their magic elsewhere. Hasta la victoria siempre, gents! Of course, neither looks as hot as Rachel, who had a roll named after her at Monkeys. Hey, can’t have everything.