"We're the Powerpuff Girls," proclaimed the actress Kara Wang, sporting a mint green blazer over a skin-hugging sheath.
She went to greet others in the same color scheme, embracing the actress Ally Maki, Christine Ko, and good light cosmetics founder, David Yi.
She was among those who received the non-existent but obvious dress code: blending in with the decor at the restaurant, Monarch.
The new establishment, which is perched in the middle of Arcadia in California, is owned by the co-founder of Opening Ceremony, Humberto Leon. The designer-cum-entrepreneur launched his second restaurant (his first, the popular Chifa in Eagle Rock), with decor that has heavy Wong Kar Wai vibes. The scintillating walls have over 30,000 beads, the seats are a dreamy electric blue, and the tables a futuristic look into what Hong Kong will be in the year 2050.
On a Friday night, Humberto, along with David, hosted an intimate dinner sponsored by D'USSE, the cognac brand owned by the rapper Jay Z. The night centered Asian American mental health, a subject that has received the spotlight recently due to the rise of Asian American hate crimes. One, a senseless mass shooting that happened in Monterey Park, steps away from Monarch, and another, in Dallas, where a gunman targeted AAPI.
"We need to know that we're not alone in this," said DJ Chuang, a representative for the non-profit, Asian American Mental Health Collective. "And the more we speak about what we're experiencing, the more light we can bring to this." He, along with Henry Lo, the ex-mayor of Monterey Park, whose last day in office was the night of the shooting, spoke about the power of community.
"Our community is hurting, but we can get through this together," he said.
For good light cosmetics' co-founder, this subject has a significant meaning. "It's about shedding light onto what makes us collectively feel ashamed. I understand this so personally, as I've always felt so along growing up in a small city. But today, I stand so bold knowing that I have a community in you all."
Indeed, the community showed out, with over 40+ guests braving Los Angeles traffic to get to Arcadia, a destination that is in the outskirts of the city. The actor Manny Jacinto, who just wrapped up a movie with Star Wars, was there with his wife and fellow actor, Dianne Doan. They sat next to NBC's Quantum lead, Raymond Lee, who sported a form-fitting polo.
"It's a reunion!" they screamed, while cheering their drinks with the producer Alan Yang, who's developing a crime show called Koreatown for Amazon Prime Studios.
Over on the other side of the room were up-and-coming actors and influencers like Michelle Phan, the OG beauty guru, and Sarah Cheung, the founder of SACHEU, now a Ulta. The two rubbed elbows with Karan Soni – the first Indian Spiderman – Kpop stars Brian Joo, Kevin Woo, Carol Lim, and influencers like Tyson Wong, who just achieved reaching over one million followers on TikTok.
"I was so nervous to come alone," Tyson admitted. "I never go to these things by myself so this is really me getting out of my comfort zone." By the end of the night, the towering Gen Z star, who wore Rick Owens, was in his element.
"This really is a night that 16-year old David could have never dreamed of," David quipped. "I never thought that I would see so many beautiful, powerful, AAPI making waves in Hollywood and all industries. It's our time."
If the remedy for tragedy is joy, it was on full display on this Friday, where guests remained until midnight. They cheered, they laughed, they were in community – Powerpuff Girls be damned.
For the month of May, good light cosmetics will be donating 15% to Asian American Mental Health Collective