Word on the street around L.A. Live says AEG is ready for more than one night in Bangkok – stay tuned on that one … More international ties to highlight, starting with Paris-born Steve Benjamin, executive chef at Jean-Georges Beverly Hills, who cuts the tuna for his tartare on the bias. That’s just an appetizer – literally and figuratively – when it comes to what’s special about the menu the place puts on at the Waldorf Astoria at Wilshire & Santa Monica … Go for the food but don’t forget to keep an eye on the scene, which often includes Jeffrey Katzenberg in Jean-Georges’glass-encased private dining room for lunch … Check the scenery, too, especially at the Rooftop by JG, which has drawn a lovely contingent of hummingbirds – a pleasant surprise 12 stories above the cityscape … Something seemed right when the tuna tartare came on a potato chip during an exhibit of a collection of art and memorabilia of Marsha and Robin Williams at Sotheby’s in Century City on Sept. 12. Having a Yogi Berra-autographed baseball alongside everything from a sculpture by Niki de Saint-Phalle to 40 watches from the late entertainer’s personal collection also seemed to fit – not sure why. The display came in advance of an auction slated for Oct. 4 in New York, and the L.A. crowd looked ready to bid – no wonder about why on that score … Back to international ties, with one that comes via Sotheby’s and Thomas Bompard, its newly appointed West Coast chairman. Bompard has fulfilled a long-held ambition with his move here, arriving from his native France via London, where he most recently served as a senior international specialist on Impressionist and modern art. He continues in the specialist’s role in his new post, which says something about L.A. as an art market … Bompard brings another, more whimsical global tie thanks to his brother, Louis, who has a très fashionable line of hats called Big Aristote, using the French version of Aristotle. The hatter’s L.A.-based brother is quick to note that Shaquille O’Neil laid claim to the nickname “The Big Aristotle” when he and the Lakers were at the peak of their powers … National reach also abounds here, as you’ll see in our front-page piece on an L.A. investor who has quietly bought up a significant chunk of Nashville over the past year … The real estate crowd works it both ways – as you’ll see in an item on page 4 that includes international and national ties, with a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based affiliate of Dutch insurance and investment giant Aegon selling off a retail property in Pasadena …Last international note: Monsieur Marcel was doing it in French at the Original Farmers Market before Eataly started speaking Italian at Westfield Century City. Sullivan Says: Anyone who thinks we were a bit early with our Aug. 27 front-page piece on the rising prospects along 7th Street in the Westlake district west of downtown should note the lovely full-page, glossy ad for the recently renovated Mayfair Hotel in the Fall issue of DesignLA from the L.A. Times.
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