Some of the "old" crowd was there -- Liza Minnelli, Ed Brooke, Alejandro Orfila -- only the location had changed. The upshot was that Embassy Row hadn't seen such a swinging party since the days Ardeshir Zahedfi used to toss them at the Iranian Embassy.

Moroccan Abmassador Ali Bengelloun disavowed any similarities between those late-night gatherings and the one he gave last night for the American Film Institute.

"Not at all the same," he said somewhat curtly.

Even so, the black-tie supper crowd that turned up at the ambassador's Cleveland Park residence wasn't exactly short on glitter. More than 200 guests ahd come over from the Kennedy Center where Liza Minnelli starred in the flesh at the opeining night of a six-day, eight-performance run and on film in a rerun of her Academy Award-winning "Cabaret."

"Oh, yes, indeed," Minnelli said, when someone reminded her that the last time she made the embassy scene was the 1976 American Ballet Theatre party Zahedi threw. That night she, Liz Taylor, Ed Brooke and Mikhail Baryshnikov did the disco dancing honors. Looking on from the sidelines was then-secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Last night Minnelli never made it closer to the dance floor than Andy Warhol's ringside table.Nor did she see former senator Brooke (since remarried), seated among the plush pillows of the adjacent Moroccan Room.

But Henry Kissinger's Democratic successor, National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, was there doing a little disco dancing with some glamorous partners in the Washington tradition of riding out crisis through after-hours relaxation.

His wife Emilie called his night off from the situation in Iran "taking the long vew of crises -- you're dealing with irrational people, with fanatics."

Brzezinski sported a somewhat flattened hair style, thanks to the White House barber, he said. "My wife said I goofed -- she usually cuts it."

He also said President Carter's handling of the Iranian situation has shown calmness, "which is one way of showing firmness. No, I'm no phrophet" in where it's all headed, he said. But he also shook his head vigorously when asked if the United States will extradite the shah.

It was Minnelli, though, who got the impromptu ovation when she and her boyfriend, stage manager Mark Gero, arrived at the embassy around 10:30 p.m. (and left an hour later). AFI's George Stevens Jr. quickly made room for them at his table even though Arkansas Sen. David H. Pryor bobbed up and down insisting that "I don't belong here."

Treasury Secretary G. William Miller decided Minnelli was "good for the economy, she's got lots of bounce."

Which she displayed nicely in a glittering blue Halston gown that provided plenty of fresh air.

Brzezinski declined to recommend his White House barber to Andy Warhol even though some people thought Warhol's white hair was hanging crooked.

Warhol escorted the widow of a former Brazilian ambassador Elizinha Goncalves, around whose neck half-dollar size rubies and diamonds clung together in a spectacular necklace.

It came close to achieving its desired effect.

"Would you like me to be discreet or knock Washington dead?" Goncalves reportedly asked Warhol before they started out for the evening.

"Knock Washington dead," Warhol replied.