Miguel Santana is focused on a huge public asset now that he’s boss of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, as our Neil Nisperos reports on page 1. But more than one wag around town has talked up hopes that Santana will eventually return to L.A. City Hall – where he generally impressed as the top professional staffer on the budget before decamping to the county post at the start of this year. Those hopes will likely grow now that Santana and his fiancée, Elizabeth Zamora, are hard at work restoring a historic home they’ve purchased in the West Adams district – a 35-mile commute to the Fairplex offices in Pomona. … The Broad Museum of Contemporary Art’s initial focus on bringing aesthetic wonders to everyday L.A. paid off, as the more than 800,000 visitors to the Bunker Hill beauty in its first year alone attest. The latest edition of the Un-Private Collection art talk series produced by the museum and sponsored chiefly by East West Bank continued to engage the population in a neighborly fashion last week, when Mark Bradford and Sharon Lockhart joined art historian Katy Siegel for a fun and enlightening discussion in front a crowd of about 1,000. Both Bradford and Lockhart are based in L.A., both have long been represented in the Broad collection, and both have pavilions at the prestigious Venice Biennale this year. The discussion came at the Orpheum Theatre on Broadway, a nice touch that shows the Broad isn’t resting on its laurels when it comes to putting art out there. … Steve Needleman is focused on the Orpheum and his other properties downtown, but anyone who needs some serious voice-over work might want to call him over at Anjac Fashion Buildings. Needleman’s voice is pitch-perfect on the canned safety and courtesy talk – fire exits, turn off cell phones, etc. – the Orpheum plays before events. … Anyone who wants to focus on big money all day long might consider this interesting, untitled work by Tauba Auerbach, who blends color and texture in a uniquely compelling way. It’s priced in the $1 million range, and you can credit the folks at Sotheby’s on the deep blue background for a contrast that really brings out the soft power of the piece when viewed in person. Auerbach’s work was one of a select number from the Mario Testino Collection that drew a well-heeled crowd to Sotheby’s offices in Century City last week before moving on to London for a showing and auctions to benefit the Museo MATE in Lima, Peru. … Ares Management Chief Executive Antony Ressler kept family in focus on his outfit’s deal in suburban Chicago, the subject of Dana Bartholomew’s front-page story. Our Henry Meier notes that Antony’s sister-in-law, Alison Ressler – a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell – represented Ares in the $1.45 billion deal. … Sullivan Says: Don’t let the name fool you – Cassell’s Hamburgers in Hotel Normandie LA has redefined the Cobb salad.
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