Top WME agent Dan Aloni buys Yolanda’s favorite house

As everyone and their mama’s mama knows, in between the turgid Tuscan boxes and numerous rusty ranch sprawlers, Los Angeles is chock-full of residential architectural treasures. Frank Lloyd Wrights to Neutras to Wallace Neffs to Paul Williamses and everything in between. Many homes are internationally famous — the Stahl House, the Eames House, the Ennis House.

Today Yolanda is going to discuss one of the city’s less-lauded but still-stunning masterpieces. We’re heading back to tony Brentwood Park to visit “Casa Shapiro“, a work of much-lauded Mexican modernist Ricardo Legorreta.

For those of you silly billies who believe in love at first sight, you know that feeling you get just after you meet him/her? The euphoria, the butterflies, the inexplicable loss of appetite? Yeah. That’s what Yolanda felt upon seeing her true love. Casa Shapiro. We think this might be our favorite house in all of LA. No joke. Don’t cackle.

Legorreta's Casa Shapiro
Legorreta’s Casa Shapiro

Your gurl has always been an architecture fan, and we know Casa Shapiro, pedigreed as it is, is considered nowhere near the crème de la crème of LA’s architecture or even one of Ricardo’s best projects. But it’s the one for us, we swear.

And perfect she is not. But what beauty is? There’s always going to be that one mole, those too-big ears, the oddly-shaped belly button. In this case, the major flaw with our baby is that kitchen. Good Lord, we can’t even look at it without tearing up. My oh my, that kitchen is a disgrace. ‘Tis true. Some of the other interior spaces are rather uninspiring, too.

But it can be fixed! And we’ve already digressed way ahead of ourselves.

After years of listlessly drifting on and off the market, Casa Shapiro recently sold for a complicated $9,253,500. Unfortunately, Yolanda is not yet in the market for a $9 million+ house. So just to confirm, your gurl is not the buyer. Yet life churns on. Property records show the mini-estate was acquired by a bizarrely-named blind trust presided over by a well-known celebrity business manager.

“Oh my!” we thought. Could the buyer of Casa Shapiro be some A-list tabloid staple?

Well, not quite. Though the buyer closely orbits the entertainment industry, he’s not exactly what we’d term a celeb. The new owner is Dan Aloni, a talent agent at WME (William Morris Endeavor), previously at CAA (Creative Artists Agency) and before that at UTA (United Talent Agency).

There must be something in the water at WME, because if you’ll recall, it was only last year that head honcho Ari Emanuel picked up a $16 million “Legoretta-inspired” crib in lower Mandeville Canyon — about 3 minutes away by motor vehicle.

The boxy stucco structure — a fetching shade of salmon — was constructed in 1991 on the .75-acre lot and packs 6 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms into a commodious 8,184 square feet of living space. It was last sold in 1997 for $3.3 million (or so) to a non-celebrity couple who have both since passed away — the property was sold by their heirs.

In classic Southern California style, the living spaces extend beyond the walls of the residence to the outdoors, where there’s a built-in cabana and an outdoor kitchen with separate dining area.

Speaking of kitchens, let’s bite the bullet and discuss that hot mess inside. We’re not sure if that’s original to the house or if it was unfortunate later addition, but that baby’s gotta go. The countertops, the chocolate-hued wood, the stainless appliances mixed with the grey walls and sad floors. Yikes. But the Pikachu-yellow skylight is pretty cool.

Bright and vivacious pinks, reds, and orange walls continue through most of the residence. Outside, there’s also a paddle tennis court expertly secreted away from the main house by the lush, tropical landscaping.

Most of the house is not visible from the street — there’s just some palm trees and the pink courtyard gates/walls, but the property does sport a surprisingly generous paver-stone motorcourt and attached three-car garage. The listing also touts the home’s trendy location — “Walking distance to Brentwood Country Mart and Brentwood Country Club!” That’s good, because Mr. Aloni is reportedly a member of the latter institution.

Anyway, more about the home’s new owner. Mr. Aloni currently reps powerhouses like Christopher Nolan and Jim Carrey, among many others. He also caused a bit of a kerfuffle in 2012 when he was abruptly fired from CAA — hence his jumping ship to WME. He later sued his former agency employer for $5 million in (allegedly) unpaid bonuses.

One Deadline article described Mr. Aloni as “a bit of a prick” and Yolanda has seen him elsewhere described on the interwebs as “a real asshole”. But that’s just secondhand gossip, so take that for what it’s worth. For all we know, Mr. Aloni might be the sweetest fella you’ll ever meet. K?

Yolanda’s research shows that Mr. Aloni has long been married to Nina Minardos, the only daughter of Greek-American TV actor Nico Minardos, a guy who reportedly lived with Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s before marrying Nina’s mom Julie.

The current Aloni residence (Pacific Palisades)
The current Aloni residence (Pacific Palisades)

Mr. Aloni and Ms. Minardos are longtime Westside residents, specifically of the quietly swanky and family-friendly “Huntington Palisades” neighborhood. Records reveal they paid $3,500,000 way back in 2003 for their 6,464 square foot home, which is way more traditional (basically the polar opposite) in architectural style than their new Brentwood Park pad. No word on what has prompted such a drastic change. Could Casa Shapiro be a teardown? Have mercy! We refuse to even entertain that thought. No one could help but love that house.

So Mr. Aloni, you may have beat Yolanda to the punch this time. But the game’s not over ’til the fat lady sings. So maybe in some years, Mr. Aloni, when you tire of the goddess, give your gurl a ring-ring. We’ll do our best to be ready.

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