Unless you were a regular at Schatzi on Main, Arnold Schwarzenegger's now-closed Austrian beerhaus in Santa Monica, you may be rather startled to discover an enormous portrait of the Governor, circa The Terminator era, in the elevator lobby. You should not be. After all, Governor Schwarzenegger still has an office in the complex. And Schatzi has only been shuttered for two years, perhaps not enough time for a complete aesthetic overhaul. Still, it is pretty funny to run smack into a mural of the Terminator when dining at Caché, which occupies Schatzi's former digs. Josiah Citrin's casual restaurant–well, more casual than his restaurant Mélisse with its two Michelin stars–doesn't exactly put you in the action hero frame of mind, although perhaps it should. Michelin stars, Hollywood stars, whatever.

Citrin for one likes the mural. “I grew up with that,” said Citrin of The Terminator. “It's pretty groovy; he's like mowing down Bogart.” (There's a Casablanca mural on the adjacent wall.) The chef also finds that things operate particularly smoothly when the Governor is around (“secret service, town cars”). These days things are going well at Caché, with or without Schwarzenegger. For the Labor Day weekend, Citrin is putting some barbeque dishes on the menu, including a suckling pig special. And he's getting ready to open for Saturday and Sunday brunch by the end of September. Something for those secret service agents to munch on in the lobby.

Caché: 3110 Main St., Santa Monica, (310) 399-4800.

LA Weekly