Restaurant Design Award: AIA announces finalists including Eveleigh and Nobu Malibu


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

In Los Angeles, under the restaurant category is Eveleigh in West Hollywood, which has a clean cottage vibe and a seasonal menu. The eclectic and rustic interior, by Nick Mathers, opens to a dining room overlooking the garden with charming blackboard menus and banquettes.

The Superba Snack Bar in Venice serves small plates and homemade pasta in a modern Italian setting with a relaxed Southern California surfer vibe, designed by Reed Architectural Group and Design.

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Two Southern California sushi restaurants were on the list, Nobu Malibu and Yojisan Sushi in Beverly Hills. Nobu Malibu, designed by Montalba Architects and Studio PCH, moved 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 more striking; the ivory, red and black color palette is emphasized by the architect’s use of bold geometric shapes.

Belecampo Meat Co. in Larkspur, CA offers a full butcher’s 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 to the north. The menu focuses on its glass meat rack, which customers can see behind the counter.

Further up the coast are Joule and 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. While both restaurants use their industrial-chic nature and exposed rafters, Joule occupies a darker space with a fireplace and stenciled blue wall panels. Her husband and wife kitchen team are known for a modern steakhouse touch to traditional Korean dishes. Whale Wins is bright, airy, and homey, with white-on-white monochrome decor as a backsplash for its simple, veg-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’s distinguished by statement pieces. An elongated hanging pendant is surrounded by a chain of seashells above the bar, and a floating mobile looks slightly like flashing fish scales, fitting into an ocean theme.

On the east coast, there is Estadio in Washington and Outliers Eatery in Portland, Maine. Estadio, which means ‘stadium’ in Spanish, serves contemporary cuisine from northern Spain in a dining room designed by GrizForm Design Architects and covered in 19th-century Spanish tiles, intricate steel pieces and combat murals of bulls and flamenco. The walls of Outliers Eatery, by Remi Designs, are also noteworthy; two wave-shaped statement walls with sculptural reliefs add a textural warmth to the contemporary space. Perhaps the most important 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 until noon on June 17. The Design Restaurant Audience Award will be announced, along with the awards for the café / bar and lounge / nightclub category, at the Dwell on Design awards ceremony on June 22, following a panel discussion on restaurant design with jury and nominees.

In the cafe / bar category, the nominees in Los Angeles 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 à 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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