Chef-Owners, Karen and Quinn Hatfield had earned a Michelin star in their tiny Beverly Blvd restaurant and were ready to expand into a new location to showcase their fine dining. They chose a formerly LA loved location of the 1980’s, but one which had seen many restaurants fail over recent years. We were excited to transform this former LA icon into a 2010 version of fine dining for LA, especially at a time in which fine dining has been declining in this city.
We had several concerns. First, how to address the original architecture of Bernard Zimmerman, which had been white and modern and articulated into a conversation about planes and façade in a very 1987 LA fashion. Second, how to approach the cavernous and rather uncomfortable tented dining room with the exhibition kitchen. And third, how to create a conversation that referenced back to the playful cooking for which the Hatfield’s had become known.
We created a narrative to refer to the bounty of the land. To fill the dining room, we built an 18’ steel and linen honeycomb chandelier created of geometries that spell out the chemical formula for honey. We lit plaster panels of sugar, wheat and corn, ideologically loaded US crops. We used a fish scale tile, soft urchin lights, and a greenery wall. And rather than alter the façade, we planted it up with grasses, climbing vines and planted a 200 lb concrete apple at the entry.