On Sunday, the second episode of "Sweetbitter," the series based on the critically acclaimed novel by Stephanie Danler, aired on STARZ. Reviews of the show have been mixed, but it's undeniable that the inner workings of life in restaurants are as irresistible now as they were when Anthony Bourdain wrote Kitchen Confidential. Danler spent years in the NYC restaurant industry, and accumulated plenty of stories that inspired the scenes in "Sweetbitter." We recently discussed her own experiences in the industry, from starting at Union Square Cafe to hiring young servers for their first New York job.

Do you remember what were you asked during your interview at Union Square Cafe? I remember being asked what I was reading, which was so different than any other restaurant jobs. I remember being asked what I liked in wine...When you go to a wine store, what wine do you tend towards?.. And I remember being asked what my favorite restaurant was in New York, and I said Papaya King up on 86th and Lex.

You have moved up from service to management in restaurants. Have you hired people for their first restaurant job in New York? I have hired people like Tess who had no skills and no New York experience. The manager is really thinking to themselves, ‘I can mold this person into my ideal employee.’ If you give someone newly arrived in New York City their first job, you're really creating the perfect employee...you're making a long term investment in someone that can grow.

Where would you go for your post-shift drinks? At Union Square Cafe we went to Park Bar. When I worked in Chelsea, we went The Half King and Art Bar. When I worked in the West Village, and we went to Kettle of Fish. Servers tend to know the one bar that serves past 4:00 a.m., because often times you are running at 3:45 to get to last call, but the bartenders, they will let you sit and wind down while they clean up.

What if you wanted to stay out past 4 a.m.? If you are out at 4:00 a.m., you should go to Veselka and have some pierogies and beer. You need food more than you need a drink, and Veselka is where a lot of people end up right after the bars close.

You live in LA now. Is the shift drink culture in the restaurant industry the same there? I don't think they have it in Los Angeles. I think because of the driving culture and the fact that places don't stay open as late, I do think that most people get in their car without a shift drink and just go home.

Is it different eating out at a nice restaurant when you work in the industry? For my 25th birthday, we saved up to go to Per Se. It was going to cost us over one month's rent for our place in Williamsburg. We were there for seven hours, we had 30 courses. I remember going to the bathroom in the middle of it, thinking that I should just throw up so I could keep eating. Every single captain, their front server, came by, introduced themselves, and said how much they loved our restaurant. They are showing off for you, and they want to impress you in a different way than they want to impress the billionaire. I remember feeling my privilege deeply that night.

What has been your impression about sexual harassment in the restaurant industry? I have always worked in restaurants run by women, besides Danny Meyer, for the entire time I was in New York, so I was never aware of a situation that I thought was inappropriate. [But there is a] the spectrum of sexual politics that you have on display in a restaurant on a given evening, from consensual to non-consensual, harassment and abuse of power, I think it shows why they've needed an overhaul for so long.

Restaurants have been in the process of becoming more visible ever since, in my opinion, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. [There has been a] transition from being graded by the health department, having HR departments in places where people can complain, [to] being compliant on workers' rights and wage equality. This is all very new for an industry that's been operating on cash and back alley handshakes for decades before that.

Were you surprised when you heard about the allegations against Mario Batali and Ken Friedman? I'm definitely less surprised unfortunately, that saddens me to say. Babbo, [with its] mostly male servers, was a particularly hostile environment to women, back in 2006. That's the rumor mill, but that is what we all talked about, and [women] stayed away. There were restaurants where some women worked, where the money was worth it to them. I know several people that worked at the Spotted Pig... people convinced themselves to stay, because they were making so much money, which is really what the job is about to most people. I wasn't surprised, it felt so overdue.

This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.