Restaurant design awards: AIA announces finalists including Eveleigh, Nobu Malibu

Eveleigh restaurant in West Hollywood has been nominated for an AIA design award.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The American Institute of Architects has released this year’s nominees for the Restaurant Design People’s Choice Awards and voting is now open online.

A jury including architect George Kelley, writer and editor Margot Dougherty and restaurateur Warner Ebbink have selected the nine finalists for the restaurant design category. And the 2013 Restaurant Design Awards nominees are ...

In Los Angeles, in the restaurant category is Eveleigh in West Hollywood, which features a pared-down cottage ambience and seasonal menu. The eclectic, rustic interior, by Nick Mathers, opens to a garden-facing dining room with charming chalkboard menus and banquette seating.


Superba Snack Bar in Venice serves small plates and house-made pastas in a modern Italian setting with a laid-back, Southern California surfer vibe, designed by Reed Architectural Group and Design.

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Two Southern California sushi restaurants made the list, Nobu Malibu and Yojisan Sushi in Beverly Hills. Nobu Malibu, designed by Montalba Architects and Studio PCH, moved locations earlier this year. The new Nobu has a clean aesthetic that incorporates organic materials and its ocean view. Yojisan Sushi, by Dan Brunn Architecture, is starker; the ivory, red and black color scheme is highlighted by the architect’s use of bold geometric forms.

Belecampo Meat Co. in Larkspur, Calif., offers a full butcher counter, restaurant and grocery store in a classic farmhouse style. Designed by BCV Architects, it gets all its meat from its 10,000-acre farm a few miles north. The menu is focused on its glass meat locker, which customers can see into behind the counter.

Farther up the coast are Joule and the Whale Wins in Seattle, both designed by Heliotrope Architects. These two restaurants have joined spaces and now coexist on the first floor of the Fremont Collective, a converted warehouse space. Though both restaurants make use of their industrial-chic nature and exposed rafters, Joule occupies a darker space with a fire pit and stenciled blue wall panels. Its husband-and-wife cooking team is known for a modern steakhouse twist on traditional Korean dishes. The Whale Wins is bright, airy and friendly, with a monochromatic white-on-white décor as a backsplash for its simple, vegetable-centric menu.
In Fort Worth, Waters is an upscale seafood restaurant, reflected in an interior by Preen Inc. With neutral colors and leather chairs, Waters has a classic look that is set apart by statement pieces. An elongated hanging pendant light is enclosed with a string of shells over the bar, and a fluttering mobile faintly resembles flashing fish scales, tying in an ocean theme.

On the East Coast, there are Estadio in Washington and Outliers Eatery in Portland, Maine. Estadio, which means “stadium” in Spanish, serves contemporary northern Spanish cuisine in a dining room designed by GrizForm Design Architects that is covered with 19th century Spanish tile, intricate steel work and bull fighting and flamenco murals. The walls of Outliers Eatery, by Remi Designs, are also notable; two wave-like statement walls with sculptural reliefs add textural warmth to the contemporary space. Maybe the most prominent feature of Outliers is its men’s bathroom; the men’s room is an all-black tribute to author Hunter S. Thompson.


Voting will be open through noon June 17. The Restaurant Design People’s Choice Award will be announced, along with the awards for the café/bar and the lounge/nightclub category, at the Dwell on Design awards ceremony June 22, following a panel discussion on restaurant design with the jury and nominees.

In the cafe/bar category, Los Angeles nominees are Beer Belly, designed by MAKE Architecture; Plan Check Kitchen & Bar, designed by Raveled Studio and Terry Heller; and Sweet Crush designed by 64North.

And in the lounge/nightclub category: Pour Vous in Los Angeles, designed by Houston Hospitality; SHOREbar in Santa Monica, designed by Built; and Chambers Eat + Drink in San Francisco, designed by Samonsky + Pometta Architects and Mr. Important Design.

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