Born in San Diego, Calif., actor Bobby Lee's career started after he dropped out of college. He got a job doing whatever needed to be done at the Comedy Store, before he worked up the nerve to try his hand at doing stand-up. Many television viewers remember Lee from his days on Fox's MADtv." He may currently be seen in the Blu-ray release of "The Dictator," which is advertised as '"banned and unrated.' The version you couldn't see in theaters." Lee also is one of the co-stars of the NBC series "Animal Practice." To stay in touch with the comedian, you may follow him on Twitter (at)bobbyleelive.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I have many favorite vacation destinations but my favorite destination is Maui. Mama's Fish House (http://www.mamasfishhouse.com/) is located in the city of Paia, and I love this restaurant because they have a framed head shot of Pauly Shore in the lobby. Oh, and the food is fantastic also.
Q. What's your favorite place overseas?
A. Another one of my favorite vacation spots is Bangkok, Thailand. If you love buying vintage T-shirts and retro clothing like I do then you have to visit JJ Market (http://www.jjmarketplace.com/) on the weekends. In fact, shopping in Thailand is super cheap and generally high quality. Bangkok is also safe. If you see anybody wearing camouflage holding a machete, don't be scared. They sell coconuts. Plus, Thai food is the best, even though some of it tastes like literal fire.
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. My favorite hotel is in Maui and it's called the Grand Wailea (http://www.grandwailea.com/). Whenever I stay there, I have this fantasy that I'm gonna run into Mr. Roarke and Tattoo (from "Fantasy Island") and then have a friendly knife fight or something. But it never happens, because they are dead in real life.
Q. What are some of your favorite cities?
A. I travel a lot because I do stand-up on the road and I definitely have my favorite cities. I love Dallas, Austin and Houston. Why? Because some of the best comedians, like Bill Hicks and Sam Kinison, started their careers in Texas, and because the crowds there are comedy educated. Also, the food is good and the strip clubs are better than most.
I like Columbus, Ohio, because it's Pleasantville for real. They have the nicest white people I have ever met, and I mean that! Seattle, because they have a "Star Trek" museum, also, because Starbucks is from there. I am a "Star Trek" fan and a major java drinker. Chicago, because who doesn't like Chicago? It's a real late-night city with great restaurants, music and really good food. And San Diego, because it's my hometown and it has the fifth-best weather in the world. When I go there, I always remember my roots.
Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. Some of my favorite restaurants are right here in Los Angeles. One of my favorites is the original El Cholo (http://www.elcholo.com/asp/site/losangeles/) on Western in Los Angeles. About 12 years ago, Eric Stonestreet (from "Modern Family") called me and said, "Hey, do you like chimichangas" And I said, "No," and then I hung up the phone. He called me back and made me go to El Cholo to eat chimichangas. Now, as I bit into this chimichanga, I literally cried. Tears of Hispanic joy. Stonestreet is never wrong about food. Never!
They say that I'm Korean and I love Korean barbecue. The best Korean barbecue restaurant in L.A. is located on 8th Street and called Soot Bull Jeep. I think Soot Bull Jeep translated means "great (expletive deleted) meat," but I'm not certain. Not only is the food fresh and delicious, but magical things happen to me when I eat there.
Q. Like what kind of magical things have happened while you were there?
A. I booked an Eminem video while I ate there. I swear!
Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.(c) 2012 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.