The Thais that dine

Asiaphiles take L'Orangerie

The launch party for next year’s Bangkok Film Festival (to be held Jan. 26-Feb. 5), Oct. 12 at L’Orangerie, was a perfect beginning to the long goodbye for one of L.A.’s most storied dining establishments.

Set to close Dec. 31, L’Orangerie soon will be reborn as an Asian eatery, Nobu Matsuhisa, the latest venture of the Japanese master chef.

So it was appropriate on Oct. 12 that all things Asian ruled the 100-plus diners at the private do, hosted by Princess Ubolratana Rajakanya Mahidol of Thailand. Guests included Nicolas Cage, who has been filming “Time to Kill” in Bangkok, and Oliver Stone, who has a home in Thailand.

Stop-motion animation giant Ray Harryhausen also was on hand, spry as a pup and celebrating his own launch: The octogenarian genius behind fantasy classics such as “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad” recently hosted the L.A. premiere of the restored version of Merian C. Cooper’s long-lost “She,” for which Harryhausen meticulously supervised the colorization. No desecration of a classic here, though. Cooper dreamed of making the film in color and Harryhausen knows something of Cooper’s dreams: He worked on Cooper’s 1949 “Mighty Joe Young.”

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