Club Review : A Reggae Wave of Kookiness at Paradise

Everyone's welcome in Paradise.

Only in this rock 'n' roll sushi joint will you find Latino waiters working with Japanese chefs in straw cowboy hats who slice and dice dainty delicacies to the reggae strains of Pato Banton and Bob Marley.

Perhaps something in the Hermosa Beach air makes people a bit kooky, but the moment you walk through the door, the chefs, waiters and nearly everyone else in the room howls out a welcome and the fun begins. At least once an hour the Hawaiian-shirt-wearing host puts on a Banton ode to cannabis and the room becomes a sing-along fest. At Paradise, everyone knows the words.

Although reggae is clearly the music of choice--with tracks from Marley's "Legend" album the heavy favorite--the folks at Paradise like to mix it up occasionally by reaching into their Jay & the Americans and Jane's Addiction archives. The main reason the employees play the latter's "Been Caught Stealing" is apparently so they can bark along with the dog that opens the song.

* Paradise Sushi, 53 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach. All ages, no cover. Closed on Mondays. (310) 379-1558. * SALOON DRAW

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