A blend of local, national and global influences arrives with word on the street downtown, which has Korean Air Chairman Y.H. Cho planning a new restaurant in the Wilshire Grand, the new skyscraper that bears the carrier’s marque at 7th and Fig. The common question: Will it be the best Korean restaurant in the city? The answer making the rounds: No – it will be the best Korean restaurant in America. … Contradictions and cooperation live side-by-side in a global city – and some of both were encapsulated when Sir Richard Branson showed up at the Flight Path Museum and Learning Center at LAX last week to receive his plaque for the Aviation Walk of Fame in Westchester. The knighted one wore jeans, loafers and an open collar to be feted by, among others, Steven Udvar-Házy, a perennial member of our Wealthiest Angelenos and LA 500 who showed up in a well-cut black suit, lace-ups, a crisp white shirt and maroon tie with conservatively sized polka dots. Udvar-Házy also heads Air Lease Corp., and he told the crowd of several hundred gathered on the tarmac that he’s been through “many adventures and ups and downs” over the years with Branson. The music-industry impresario-turned-travel-entrepreneur thanked Udvar-Házy for his “restrained” remarks, using a tone of voice that left some in the crowd curious about what sort of high-jinx the mismatched pals have gotten up to over the years … The old aphorism to “think globally and act locally” came into play, with Branson, Udvar-Házy and Los Angeles World Airports Chief Executive Deborah Flint all admirably engaged as Lynne Adelman, president of the board of the Flight Path Museum, plugged Westchester by telling the crowd that it’s home to a Ralphs and CVS, both conveniently located on the doorstep of LAX … A number of prominent business folks took on the local-global challenge when the Armenian National Committee of America hosted U.S. Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey at the home of St. Vincent Jewelry Center’s Peklar Pilavjian for a March 24 fundraiser. Menendez is the ranking Democrat on the powerful Foreign Relations Committee and he hit the right notes with the crowd with an assessment that Turkey hasn’t recently been acting like much of an ally to the U.S. That’s a key point to the Armenian-American community, which has long been engaged in efforts to prompt U.S. acknowledgment of what it considers an act of genocide perpetrated against Armenians in what is now Turkey as the Ottoman Empire crumbled a century ago. Menendez was on message, the food was delicious, the desserts were subtly sweet, and the setting was an unusually engaging combination of elegant and comfortable, thanks to Vera Pilavjian, Peklar’s wife and a professional interior decorator … How do the arts make the local-global connection? The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra is pairing music by composers from around the world with “delectable” cuisine from their respective homelands in “three intimate, elegant fundraising evenings” in “spectacular private homes and settings of the region’s international community” this spring. The countries covered by the events are Australia, Turkey and China … The Chinese city of Guangzhou took center stage in a ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel on March 26, when Vice Mayor Dong Wang announced the opening of a new branch office of the Guangzhou Tourism Board at China Southern Airlines’ office at Wilshire and Crescent Heights. Credit Wang for his ability to use some simple language to take the edge off the tough rhetoric that’s come on U.S.-China relations lately – he told his audience that Guangzhou has 63 Sister Cities, and the strongest link is to Los Angles. There are a lot of reasons for that, he said, “but the main reason is because we like each other very much” … Sullivan Says: Credit downtown developer and Central City Association Chairman Tom Gilmore for matching Wang on goodwill, observing every point of etiquette as he sat rapt in the front row throughout the ceremonies.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.