Remembering the restaurant design of the 80s and 90s in Los Angeles


Architect D. Fletcher Dunham, who promotes supportive housing and works at Koning Eizenberg, noted the experimental and radical designs of restaurant interiors and exteriors in a series of tweets last night, highlighting many places that are now physically missing but still anchored in Angelenos’ memories. Many of these restaurants built and designed in the 1980s and 1990s featured clean lines and common materials.

Examples include Thom Mayne and Michael Rotondi’s 72 Market Street in Venice, Angeli Caffe on Melrose, Kate Mantilini in Beverly Hills (which was the setting for some famous scenes in Heat), Rebecca in Venice and Nicola in downtown LA. Hilariously, one of the only remaining buildings featuring the wild and often postmodern design of the 90s is the KFC on Western near Beverly by Elysee Grinstein and Jeffrey Daniels. Another example of a wild ’90s restaurant interior that persists is Wolfgang Puck’s Chinese on Main, whose colorful interior by Barbara Lazaroff appears to be untouched by time. While many of these restaurants are closed, there are still many classic LA restaurants that are still very open.

In other news:

  • Uncool Burgers is moving from its place in Larchmont to West Hollywood. There is no location advertised in WeHo, although Uncool says it will have hours later until 2 a.m. and will have a full bar, which is a nice bonus.
  • Speaking of older restaurants, Santa Monica’s PF Chang’s closed without notice, according to Toddrickallen.
  • Spoons Patisserie has made the sad announcement that due to personal circumstances, pastry chef Steven Cheung will not be serving his colorful pastries in Los Angeles for next year. However, Cheung promises he will return after spending the next year working primarily in San Francisco, one of his two established bases.
  • The magazine has a quick overview of newly opened or about to open restaurants in downtown Los Angeles. Places like Girl and the Goat have just opened while the Yangban Company could debut next month. Others like Yess by Junya Yamazaki and Caldo Verde by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne are more distant but will likely be notable openings for the neighborhood.
  • LA Taco has an article on Benjamin Padilla, a taquero specializing in steamed tacos in East LA. These steaming hot cuts of beef are amazing.


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