Bartender/server/psychologist at Mazatlan Restaurant (14450 Woodinville Redmond Rd, Woodinville).

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Do you enjoy bartending more than waiting tables, or vice versa?

Bartending, definitely. The tips are better, and it's interesting to play the role of everyone's psychologist. People come up to order a drink and casually start talking about their problems—especially their drinking problems. It can be a bit surreal. Some nights it feels like I'm stocking the wet bar at an AA meeting.

Can you tell anything about people based on what they order?

Definitely. I like vodka people; they tend to be better conversationalists, and they're polite and tip well in general. I hate tequila people. They are boring and cheap. Same with beer people. Gin people, especially martini people, are a bit classier. They don't usually drink to get drunk, and they're quieter.

What do you think makes tequila people so boring and cheap?

Well, obviously I'm speaking very generally, because I know lots of people who like both beer and tequila. I love good tequila, but I don't ever drink more than one shot of it. But I've noticed that people who come to the bar and order tequila, or rounds of beer, are here to get drunk. They are the people who want to talk and talk and talk about their problems. They are depressed, and they want to get drunk fast.

What dish would you recommend at Mazatlan to sober up a tequila enthusiast?

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The borrego is my favorite plate. It is a deliciously slow-cooked leg of lamb, and it comes with vegetables, rice, and beans.

Interview by Cienna Madrid

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