Northern Lights Bar (Iceland) designed by Minarc, nominated in Café/Bar category.

The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA) has announced the top nominees for the 9th-annual Restaurant Design Awards, held at Dwell on Design. This year’s jury—consisting of writer and One Kings Lane editor Margot Dougherty, restaurateur Warner Ebbink, and architect George Kelly, AIA—has selected nine finalists in the Restaurant category, four in the Café/Bar category and three in the Lounge/Nightclub category, as listed below.


  • Belcampo Meat Co. (Larkspur, CA) designed by BCV Architects
  • Estadio (Washington, DC) designed by GrizForm Design Architects
  • Eveleigh (West Hollywood, CA) designed by Nick Mathers
  • Joule/The Whale Wins (Seattle, WA) designed by Heliotrope Architects
  • Nobu Malibu (Malibu, CA) designed by Montalba Architects, Inc. and Studio PCH, LLC
  • Outliers Eatery (Portland, ME) designed by Remi Designs
  • Superba Snack Bar (Venice, CA) designed by Reed Architectural Group & Design, Bitches
  • Waters—Bonnell’s Coastal Cuisine (Fort Worth, TX) designed by Preen, Inc.
  • Yojisan Sushi (Beverly Hills, CA) designed by Dan Brunn Architecture


  • Beer Belly (Los Angeles, CA) designed by MAKE Architecture
  • Northern Lights Bar (Iceland) designed by Minarc
  • Plan Check Kitchen & Bar (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Raveled Studio & Terry Heller
  • Sweet Crush (Los Angeles, CA) designed by 64NORTH


  • Chambers Eat + Drink (San Francisco, CA) designed by SPARC & Mr. Important Design
  • Pour Vous (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Houston Hospitality
  • SHOREbar (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Built | a design/build company

All 16 finalists will be invited onstage on Friday, June 21, for the Behind Good Restaurant Design presentation, along with the three judges. Carlo Caccavale, Associate Director at AIA|LA, says that they “strive for balance and good conversation” when putting together their jury panel, which is sure to lead to an interesting discussion onstage. Dougherty says that she and her fellow judges brought a “good combination of views” to the table, and she is particularly looking forward to hearing more about each designer’s inspiration. Dougherty believes that a restaurant’s design needs to “match the intent of the food,” and Caccavale adds that if the ambiance “is not engaging, you are already creating the wrong mood for your meal.” Clearly, this is not something a guest at these 16 establishments needs to worry about!

Be part of the People's Choice Awards by clicking here and voting for your favorite. The deadline to submit your vote for the People's Choice Awards is 12 noon on Monday, June 17.

The Restaurant Design Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 22, at 4 p.m., and will be hosted once again by designer and restaurateur Barbara Lazaroff.

Café/Bar Nominee; Beer Belly (Los Angeles, CA) designed by MAKE Architecture

Restaurant Nominee; Yojisan Sushi (Beverly Hills, CA) designed by Dan Brunn Architecture


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