They've come to Los Angeles in hopes of generating a little excitement over the democratic country of Hungary.
And officials from Budapest did just that Friday as they opened a West Coast consulate to the strains of soft violin music--and the deafening wail of a high-rise building evacuation alarm.
A simmering pot of sauce for the \o7 hortobagyi\f7 , a Hungarian hors d'oeuvre prepared for the dignitaries, set off fire alarms in the Brentwood office building that houses the new consulate.
The piercing noise startled Mayor Tom Bradley, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor and newly appointed Consul General Andras Marton. But it did not interrupt the speeches or prompt any of the 150 proud Hungarian-Americans in the audience to flee.
"The main goal is to put Hungary on the map one way or another," Marton said with a grin later. "We want to bring Hungary into the knowledge of Southern Californians."
The tiny consulate will serve about 200,000 Hungarian-Americans in California and thousands of others living in the West. It is the third office opened in this country by Hungary since it broke free of Soviet domination a year ago.
Marton, a well-known Hungarian actor, said he was surprised when he was picked to open the new consulate. But he said he once had a role in a movie filmed in Los Angeles, and a few years ago he taught drama at UC Irvine.
More important, however, "I've never been a member of any political party. . . . They would have never accepted anyone with a political stain on their record," he said.
Marton acknowledged that his show business background may pay off for the consulate in Los Angeles. So could Zsa Zsa's.
"Zsa Zsa Gabor's name is so closely connected with my country. She might be an important vehicle for us," he said. "Show business relations between Hungary and the world states could be the easiest way to put Hungary on the map."
For her part, Gabor heaped praise on Hungary. And on the \o7 hortobagyi\f7 she was heaping on her plate: "It's fabulous. You must try some," she said.
"This is a very big day for me. I'm so proud. Mr. Marton will do very well. He's a movie star with a personality that's fabulous. Look how well Mr. Reagan did," Gabor said.
Although they are working out of an office partially furnished with leftover wooden shipping crates, consulate staff members said they plan to immediately begin promoting tourism and business investment in their country. They will take part in an unprecedented Hungarian trade show starting Sunday in Beverly Hills.
They intend to work closely with neighboring Poland in luring American capital into their former Eastern Bloc nations.
Polish Consul General Jan Szewc, one of two dozen diplomats who attended Friday's ceremony, said the two nations have much in common. Today, in fact, Polish folk dancers will perform at a public open house from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Hungarian Consulate, 11766 Wilshire Blvd.
Szewc, whose Los Angeles consulate opened last year, predicted that Hungarian officials will have their hands full in the next few months. He said Hungarian-Americans living in Los Angeles have long awaited consul services.
"The Hungarian community will propose so many things for them to do that they will be very busy," he said.
Los Angeles officials said the Hungarian Consulate is the 79th foreign office to open locally.
Bee Lavery, the city's chief of protocol, said officials expect that Czechoslovakia and Russia will soon open Los Angeles consulates.