The Valencia’s Take Paris

John J. Nazarian
April 10, 2024

Something I swear by is that no one throws a party quite like Lisa Helfend Meyer. Her parties were always over the top. The ones at hotels and restaurants and the ones at her incredible home all were wonderful. Often to the dismay of the “disgruntled” ones aka partners, that I think just motivated LHM even more. One of the best was the one held at Mr. Chow’s, that was one of the best, no entertainment, but absolutely incredible food and the service. It should be noted that I have not been invited to any of Lisa’s parties in years!!! I can remember fondly of those in attendance getting pretty sloshed, and I will leave that alone! ** The big barf in the new Mercedes and getting barf off a suede jacket can’t be fun either LMAO! Just a Barf a minute!

The next person that comes to my mind is Benjamin Valencia. Ben was a former partner at MOLM until he realized he was becoming a Spanish speaking stooge and just another ‘billing machine’ on the 14th. floor. Ben and Rox getting together was a total power play and to prove it look at them now. They are both truly a powerful operation and both left MOLM with no regrets on their parts, but we understand that that is not the case on the other side, so funny. Ben and his incredible wife throw some of the best parties and I believe the secret is not being cheap….. Neither LHM or Ben will ever be called cheap, frankly incredibly generous. Certainly other words could be used for both, but not cheap, and who cares, they are both high power lawyers and people talking poorly comes with “Esquire” title.

The ultimate Halloween Party held every year at the Valencia’s is an invite no one wants to miss. Again, nothing but top shelf everything. You name it; catering, entertainment, incredible food brought in to supplement whatever that may have been missed by the caterers. A few years ago I had an amazing Cuban seafood dish that was prepared at one of the Valencia’s homes, yup he has a few. That meal for me, to this day, was one of the best meals I have ever had. I had slid into Cuban Heaven. As I ate, I was hovered over by Ben and his family to assure all was delicious and perfect. ** Each bite I took was better than the previous one. I was told it was a specialty of the house at a restaurant the family once owned.

Another person I must add is “Max” when Max says live entertainment he is not messing around. There were pretty girls and pretty young men and a crew preparing food right in front of you. I don’t remember seeing so much fresh crab and lobster, dishes that were a feast for your eyes. And this party was a traveling one, violinist, sax blaring and dancers all over while you ate. I was told that the festivities exceeded $300,000.00 for the entire event….I still cannot forget how overwhelming it was. Max is another who is never going to be accused of being cheap! Max loves enjoying his success and wealth with family and friends.

When the Valencia’s take off on a vacation that too is all First Class, from airfare to the best hotels in Paris. The Valencia’s take Paris and after the bill is tallied it could be said Paris took the Valencia’s. Tourist waiting hours in line is something that Ben & Co. will never experience, that is simply never going to happen to anyone in Ben’s family. Ben and his family had private tours for all the amazing places in Paris and as they arrived at restaurants the family was seated immediately. Was it the black Rolls Phantom toting the gang around Paris? Ben told me that he loved the Palace of Versailles, he actually imagined living there. There were several architecture issues he had with it actually. The family enjoyed Easter Sunday brunch at the Peninsula in Paris, one of my favorite places in Hong Kong and Beverly Hills. One of Ben’s funnier thoughts was, “If you are going to do it, over do it.”

Quite frankly if you ever visited one of the Valencia’s homes you could too, imagine Ben living there. Ben and his wife design the homes as they see fit and over the top does not quite cover the building experience. Always the best and that goes from his custom built tie racks to his selection of very very high end eye wear, also protected in hand built custom cabinets. Then again when you drive a Bentley convertible you get the feel that Benjamin Valencia is enjoying his success, after throwing off the yoke of just ‘billing hours’ for a group of ingrates. It is possible that Ben was humming, “ Take this job and shove it” that wonderful hit song sung by Johnny Paycheck. Ben planned his escape months in advance to the point he strolled out of his ‘box’ aka ‘office’ and into his new incredibly furnished suite and truly never looked back. ** There is a white Bentley Arnage waiting in a very special place if he ever gets off his wallet.

As it was clearly stated, “I did not wait 50 years to go to Paris and not do it right!” The entire family flew First Class to Paris. Upon arrival the Rolls and driver was present to take the family to one of the best hotels in Paris. The food and tours were as expected all private just for the Valencia family. And of course that very humble motor car and driver was available for the entire 10 days. I have attached a few photos of Ben and his wife (don’t like to involve the kids but trust me when I tell you they had a great time too

To end this interview and to leave you with an idea how Ben treated his family and for that matter his friends is simple, “There is nothing better than being with family when fulfilling a dream.”

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