He’s got a jones for food

Amter is a Times staff writer.

In Los Angeles, Cheech Marin needs no introduction. He’s a local. “I was raised in downtown L.A.,” he says. Of course, the actor-comedian is also a familiar face to millions after appearing in countless films and television shows such as “Nash Bridges,” and he first came to fame for making America laugh in a series of Cheech and Chong recordings and films that were major successes in the 1970s through early 1980s.

This fall, the Malibu resident has partnered with his friend Tommy Chong once again, embarking on a multi-city comedy trek dubbed the Light Up America and Canada tour. The duo performs two comedy shows Saturday night at the Gibson Amphitheatre.

Friday night secrets

I usually like to meet my girlfriend in town and pick out someplace we haven’t been to before to eat. There’s this one place on Pico Boulevard that we go to and meet up with our friends -- I’m not even sure if it has a name, but it’s near Overland. It’s a little Japanese restaurant, you have to know the guy to get in there, it has the old sign from, like, five restaurants ago outside. It’s all whitewashed, and it’s a secret restaurant for all these wine aficionados . . . they grill a lot of different types of meat, robata style, and you get to bring in your own wine. It’s a great way to start the weekend.


Get your golf on

A real favorite weekend for me would be to wake up early on Saturday morning, have a cup of coffee and go play golf at my course, Saticoy Golf Club in Camarillo. It’s a hidden gem, a wonderful, real golfer’s golf course hidden back there . . . nobody knows about it. [It has] beautiful views, and it’s 10 degrees cooler than the valley and 10 degrees warmer than the beach. It’s a really great course, and they have a wonderful chef there so I’ll stay for lunch. They have a lot of salads . . . lots of Asian stuff, Chinese chicken salad and rice bowls and more.

From Russia, with love

Saturday night we try to meet friends and go to movies or go to a party or something. My girlfriend is a concert pianist, so sometimes we’ll go see opera at the Dorothy Chandler or concerts at the Disney Hall. I love classical music; I’ve studied the history of it for a while. My girlfriend is Russian, and she went to the St. Petersburg Conservatory . . . she turned me on to a lot of new stuff. One of her tests to see if we were going to get along was my opinion of opera.

Around the world on Sunday

I always love to go to Olvera Street; there’s a place down there called Cielito Lindo, and they have the best taquitos in the world. We get over to Chinatown once in a while, because I was raised over there in that area. My dad was a beat cop, and his beat was Chinatown and Little Tokyo. From an early age I was exposed to all kinds of good food. I also like this restaurant Fogo de Chao. This is a Brazilian steakhouse, but it is more Argentinean, really. They have all kinds of meats and a great salad bar. This is a real meat-lover’s paradise, though. They just keep bringing as much meat as you can eat. A great wine list too. I also love Zuma Sushi and Nobu in Malibu. I always get the agedashi tofu [at Nobu].