A different all-American motto, however, has been fully embraced by the Nazarians and many other Persian families who have earned fortunes here: If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Parviz became famous in his community—and notorious in Beverly Hills—for building a mansion that exemplifies an architectural style known in these parts as Persian Palace.
The interior decor of Sam Nazarian’s .9 million mansion high above the Sunset Strip might be described as nightlife moderne.
His circle, however, extends well beyond the celebutantes courted by his businesses.
Nazarian and his family, who like many Iranian Jews left Tehran during the 1979 revolution, are leaders of a powerful Persian Jewish elite in Beverly Hills.
From the street, the Nazarian pile looks like a particularly frothy wedding cake propped up by a forest of fluted columns.
The interior, according to visitors, is an extravaganza of polished marble, sweeping staircases and gilt rococo furniture, a nominally French style favored by Iran’s late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
The present-day elite Persian community in Beverly Hills, though, really got its start in the early Seventies, when four brothers of the Mahboubi clan—who had grown rich at home from their virtual monopoly on chewing gum—moved to Los Angeles and sank their money into real estate on Rodeo Drive.