Tadao Ando

TadaoEvery once on awhile you get to meet a cultural icon in your profession. I have been fortunate to have met many, yet one in particular holds a fond place in my heart. As architectural students in the 1980’s, we admired Tadao Ando, Aldo Rossi, Richard Meier, Michael Graves, Alvar Alto, Philippe Starke, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Hans Hollien…….and the list goes on……my apologies to those I missed.

When Tadao Ando came to Los Angeles back in 2011 to publicize his book of Complete Works 1975-2012, my friend Billy Lehman invited me to join him and his wife, writer Dana Goodyear-Lehman, to meet Mr. Ando at the Taschen book store in Beverly Hills. One would think I was a giddy child on their first trip to Disneyland. I was thrilled! I stood nearby unable to maintain my cool composure as Tadao not only personally addressed and signed my book, but included a sketch. As one can see in the photo, I was grinning ear-to-ear as I thanked him profusely.

Almost as fulfilling as that experience was the meal we ate afterwards at the original Chego, where Roy Choi is known for his mix-culture rice bowls and a “fount of culinary postmodernism”. The Chubby Pork Belly rice bowl with crunchy, juicy chunks of caramelized pork belly rubbed with the Korean spice paste gochujang was absolutely delicious. The fusion of flavors and spices of all the dishes we sampled were phenomenal. I highly recommend it!

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