When you enter Spago solo and told you’re sitting next to singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester, you know it’s a good day.
It was better than that. It was a fabulous evening filled with Barbara Lazaroff’s family, friends, and donors who contributed to Mazon, the Jewish hunger charity that has been the recipient of all of her Spago Passover Seders for the past 30 years.
Barbara, co-owner of Spago (with ex-husband Wolfgang Puck) was hands-on with everything from seating arrangements, making introductions, photography, participating in holiday songs, and even choreographing outdoor heaters. She personally wrapped her own shawl around my Suzanne DeLaurentiis short-sleeved dress because I rushed out the door without one.
The beautiful and fashionable hostess talked about her Jewish roots. “I’m in the process of making my bas mitzvah, something I’ve wanted to do for a while.” She got side tracked because her beloved Mom passed away last year and her schedule has been more than hectic, as she runs several businesses (restaurants and design), not to mention being a Mom, having a podcast, and starting a dinnerware and lifestyle business. She is one of the city’s most active philanthropists.
150 guests were entertained by the Westside Children‘s choir, fresh off their stint on Ellen DeGeneres’ show. Rabbi Arnold Rachlis and his wife Cantor Ruti Braier (University Synagogue Irvine) conducted services with mentions of the recent Kansas City tragedy, as well as the year anniversary of the Boston bombing. The Rabbi encouraged guests to contribute other languages with the translation of the Hebrew/English Haggadah, including Japanese and Spanish. This definitely was not your typical Grandmother’s Seder!
Traditional Seder plates were placed on each table, as well as sweet wine. The menu included matzo ball soup, gefilte fish, chopped chicken liver, salmon, braised beef short rib flanken, and a dozen varieties of desserts. Besides munching on the most delicious matzo all night, guests lucked out by bringing packages of it home. We can’t disclose the recipe in full, but ingredients include shallots, thyme, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, and chili flakes. We also were gifted with scrumptious macaroons.
One of The Young and the Restless’ newest heartthrobs, Max Ehrich attended with Faking It’s Greg Sulkin and their pal talent booker/attorney Todd Krim at the Kira and Bob Lorsch table. If you’re wondering about my conversation with Melissa Manchester, you’ll have to keep up with my future columns. What a lovely dinner companion, if only for a while. I was later moved to a neighboring table with fun guests whose names are not that recognizable, but just as welcoming.
Sue Facter writes about the luxury brand which includes entertainment, travel, beauty, dining, and fashion. Her work appears in USA Today, Los Angeles Times,and Women’s Day Australia, as well as on broadcasts and the web. Follow her on Twitter @TheFacter.