The Crowd: Open your red envelopes at South Coast Plaza

Susan and Dean Spanos.jpg
Major donors Susan and Dean Spanos at the 53rd annual Christmas Carol Ball produced by the Hoag Hospital Foundation.
(Cara Uisprapassorn / Hoag Hospital Foundation)

South Coast Plaza will begin its annual Lunar New Year celebration Jan. 23 in Jewel Court. Organizers bill the exhibition as the “largest and most festive celebration of the occasion among shopping centers on the West Coast.”

Kicking off two and a half weeks of cultural events, including fashion, food, entertainment and related exhibits, the Year of the Rat at South Coast Plaza is unquestionably a red envelope experience. For those unfamiliar, the red envelope holding a $2 bill symbolizes luck in the New Year. Two red envelopes can’t hurt.

The Hall debuts

The Hall Global Eatery at South Coast Plaza opened this month to rave reviews from dining critics. Chef and owner Amar Santana and restaurateur Ahmed Labbate have partnered to create one of O.C.’s most talked about culinary concepts.

The chic, 10,000-square-foot hall is the 2020 version of the cafeteria concept, but trust me, this is not your grandmother’s lineup with a plastic tray awaiting the daily soup special. We’re talking a Mediterranean Grill serving to die for lamb, beef and chicken shawarma sandwiches alongside house made babaganoush and Moroccan spicy eggplant galout. A dramatic long marblebar presenting Peruvian scallops, Spanish octopus and lobster sashimi beckons.


All this plus an extraordinary cocktail bar in the hands of Michael Rooney, mixologist extraordinaire and a European-inspired patisserie presentation of handmade cookies and cakes.

Spotted dining were South Coast Plaza’s managing partner, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, and her charming sister Sally Segerstrom Andrews. Also seen were O.C. chef and syndicated food columnist Jamie Gwen, who was sampling the fare with her classy mom, and food columnist Lana Sills, who shared a fabulous Moroccan lamb and hummus dish with Newport’s top marketing executive, Lee Healy

Super Bowl with Steinberg

Orange County-based sports agent Leigh Steinberg has announced plans for his annual day-before-the-Super-Bowl party Feb. 1 in Miami. The party is expected to attract 1,000 guests, including a large contingent of O.C.-based athletes, celebs and business VIPs.

In established Steinberg tradition, proceeds will go to Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition, the event will feature a discussion on new research and neurological therapy for athletes. On hand will be members of the 2020 NFL draft class, sports personalities, media and business leaders.


For information, email

Ferragamo scores for Meals on Wheels

In other NFL news, Vince Ferragamo, a former Los Angeles Rams quarterback, has put his formidable support behind Age Well Senior Services assisting seniors dependent upon Meals on Wheels in South Orange County.

Established in 1975 Age Well Senior Services provides over 300,000 meals a year for seniors unable to prepare their own meals.

To learn more, go to

A final salute to holiday joy

The 53rd annual Christmas Carol Ball produced by the Hoag Hospital Foundation raised a significant $1.36 million. The elegant December gala at the Monarch Beach Resort was co-chaired by Robert and Kitty Brunswick, who welcomed some 600 guests for dinner and dancing in holiday style.

Also front and center to welcome and thank the generous community supporters was Flynn Andrizzi, president, Hoag Hospital Foundation. Andrizzi has spearheaded the “Hoag Promise Campaign” over the past several years with a lofty fundraising goal, $627 million, with a target date of Dec. 31. With proceeds from the ball, the tally already exceeds $644 million. Clearly, a promise made, kept and surpassed.

Hoag devotees and major underwriters included Jack and Shanaz Langson Family Foundation, Debbie and Jeff Margolis, Winslow Maxwell Charitable Trust, Trish and Mike Berchtold, Kevin and Patricia Moriarty, Ruby Family Foundation / Wendy and Ken Ruby and Sandi and Ron Simon.

Stepping forward were Lia and Victor Assad of the Iacocca Family Foundation, Ben and Carmela Du, Joan and Andy Fimiano, the Wood and Muzzy families, David and Diana Sun, Dwight and Kathie Armstrong, Deborah and Larry J. Bridges, Bob and Diana Brookes, Robert and Kitty Brunswick, Bob and Terry Callahan, Callero Family Foundation, Sherri and Maynard Carkhuff Family and Sheri and Chris Dialynas, to name only a select few.


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