AUG 23, 2016

Steven D. Lin: The Doctor Who Break Dances as Well as He Fixes Broken Digits

By Bonnie He

Occupation: Orthopaedic Surgeon, Former L.A. Boy

Based in: Los Angeles

Last Education: University of Irvine - College of Medicine


Steven D. Lin is a triple threat: singer,

Dr. Lin, a respected orthopaedic surgeon in Arcadia, California, was once upon a time a celebrity rapper in Taiwan, part of the wildly popular hip-hop group known as L.A. Boyz.

Formed out of University High School in Irvine, L.A. Boyz consisted of Dr. Lin and his cousins, Jeff Huang and Stanley Huang. They caught their big break after they were invited to participate in Taiwan’s version of “Star Search.” L.A. Boyz’s Taiwanese American background and their use of American slang in conjunction with Taiwanese lyrics appealed to the Taiwanese masses. Their first album, “Shiam,” sold more than 130,000 copies. They went on to make 12 more albums and earned many Asian music awards.


AUG 23, 2016

Wine Dinner and C.O.D Tasting with Commanderie de Bordeaux Andrew Bigbee

By Bonnie He

C.O.D. Wine Dinner Andrew Bigbee Cover Photo Privy Magazine Event

Hong Kong-based, long-time Privy Circle friend Andrew Bigbee, wine connoisseur, was in town recently, so naturally, we got together and drank. Andrew is the Commanderie de Bordeaux of Shanghai, the CEO of Acker Merrall Condit Asia, and Deputy Chairman of Madison Wines (8057: HK). He quenched our thirst for both drinks and knowledge of the current state of affairs in the wine industry.

This coincided with our other Privy Circle friend, Marcus Kwan, soft opening his new seafood restaurant. C.O.D, which stands for “catch of the day,” is a modern seafood brasserie offering Asian-inspired Californian cuisine on fashionable W. Third St., where food is always served at the peak of its freshness. Marcus invited us for a preview, and we were thrilled to celebrate the new establishment with our hearts and stomachs.


JUL 21, 2016

From 'L Word' to 'X-Men': Mei Melançon's Journey from Asia to Hollywood

By Bonnie He

Mei Melancon Cover Photo Privy Magazine Profile

Occupation: Actress, Writer, Former Model

Based in: Los Angeles

Last Education: Larry Moss and Nancy Banks


It’s any wonder that Mei Melançon is so eclectic. She’s of Chinese, Japanese and French descent, was born in the Philippines, grew up in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and moved to the United States in her early teens.

During Melançon’s cross-border upbringing, her mother taught her how to play guitar, and she started touring around Asia in a children’s band called Blossoms at the young age of 5.


JUN 22, 2016

How Lawrence Ng Built a $200M Company Before He Turned 30

By Bonnie He

Lawrence Ng Privy Profile Interview Cover Photo

Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur, Investor

Based in: Taipei, Los Angeles

Last Education: University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business


When others retreat, Lawrence Ng fearlessly advances - and gets results.

When the dot-com bubble collapsed in 2000, investors quickly fled the wreckage. At that time, building an internet-based company wasn’t an attractive prospect.

Lawrence Ng, however, wasn't deterred. He understood how to convert internet traffic into profit, using the search engine optimization and marketing strategies he learned at his previous job at Smartpath (one of the victims in the dot-com collapse).


JUN 1, 2016

Jason Wang Rules a Xi'an Empire

By Bonnie He

Jason Wang Ceo and President of Xi'an Famous Foods

Occupation: Restaurateur

Based in: New York

Last Education: International Culinary Center (Formerly French Culinary Institute)


It takes hard work to run an empire. And Jason Wang has a large one, at that. He’s the CEO and President of Xi’an Famous Foods, a New York City Chinese fast-food chain that currently has 11 locations - and expanding - in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. Xi’an Famous Foods has quickly become iconic for its fast, hip, and inexpensive Xi’an fare, with its famed lamb burger starting at just $3.50!

One of those locations is Biang!, an upscale version of the Xi’an brand, named after the sound the noodles make when the dough is slapped against the counter. Just this year, Biang! became a no-tipping establishment, instead giving its employees a wage increase and 15% of the revenue share.

In 2017, Xi’an Famous Foods will have a coveted spot in the upcoming Bourdain Market, a mega food hall by Anthony Bourdain, opening on Pier 57 in Manhattan, fashioned after Singapore’s famed hawker centres.


MAY 18, 2016

For Toni Ko, Perversion Lies in the Eye of the Beholder

By Bonnie He


Occupation: Serial Entrepreneur

Based in: Los Angeles

Languages Spoken: English, Korean


L'Oreal thought Toni Ko was worth it.

In 2014, the internationally renowned cosmetics company acquired Ko's beauty powerhouse NYX for a rumored $500 million dollars, enough for a lifetime of margaritas sipped at the beach, if Ko had chosen to coast into an early retirement.


JAN 1, 2016

2016 Privy's New Year's Rockin' Eve

By Bonnie He

Privy Rockin' Eve 2016

Privy swung into 2016 with full ferocity.

Privy had a thriving 2015, so we are all excited about what ambitious milestones are inevitably in store for 2016 - and we have the inside scoop that Privy is revealing first-class surprises in the new year! Last year, we hosted elaborate Rémy Martin and Hennessy Tasting Dinners, a Perfect Pairs Wine Dinner with event partner Chase, a Drinks ‘n’ Chatter night benefiting Nepal's devastating earthquake, a sophisticated Mooncake and Tea Pairing in San Francisco, a Halloween Monster Masquerade Ball benefiting the National Asian Breast Cancer Initiative, a Charity Poker Event hosted by Joe Hahn of Linkin Park, and a special night of Bach at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was only fitting that Privy ended 2015 with a night of gold-and-white-themed splendor.


NOV 15, 2015

A Monster Masquerade for a Monster Cause: Asian Breast Cancer

By Bonnie He

 Monster Masquerade

Privy Circle hosted the Monster Masquerade Ball at the swanky new downtown Los Angeles hotspot, The Reserve. Converted from a real prohibition-era bank vault, the sophisticated nightclub intertwines old-school distinction with modern decadence. Privy guests were treated to a special private grand opening of the Reserve, the eve before Halloween.


NOV 13, 2015

Daniel Wu Goes Into the Badlands

By Bonnie He

Occupation: Actor, Producer, Director

Based in: Hong Kong, California

Last Education: University of Oregon


Daniel Wu chanced upon the Hollywood Dream overseas.

Born and raised in Northern California, Chinese American Wu originally went to Hong Kong in 1997 to witness the British handover back to China - and ended up having a successful film career in Asia for two decades. His foray into the industry was completely accidental. Wu was literally discovered, with no prior acting or Cantonese-language experience (he graduated with an architecture degree and grew up speaking Mandarin and Shanghainese), and thrust headlong into his first movie, “Bishonen,” as the lead.


JUN 19, 2015

Misa Chien: A Model Entrepreneur

By Privy Editor



Occupation: Entrepreneur, Former Model

Based in: San Francisco

Last Education: University of California, Los Angeles

It started with a bánh mì sandwich.

Like any good entrepreneur, Misa Chien, the former co-owner of Nom Nom Truck, which specializes in those pork and picked veggie baguette sandwiches, would frequently check online reviews for her business. But when Chien couldn’t match the feedback—positive or negative—to her employees, she wondered why anyone hadn’t designed a way for patrons to leave employee-specific reviews. So with the former model’s customary pluck, she did it herself.