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Check Out the Bold, Creative Nominees for the 8th Annual Restaurant Design Awards

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It's not all about the food and drinks when you go out for dinner or cocktails, right? Atmosphere plays a significant role in the dining experience, and to honor the achievements of restaurant, bar, and nightclub designers, The American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA)'s panel of judges have come up with the nominees in three categories for the 8th annual Restaurant Design Awards (RDA) Competition.

The judges (KCRW radio personality, chef & restaurateur Evan Kleiman, architect extraordinaire Mark Rios, FAIA and Bravo's wunderkind Top Chef winner & restaurateur Michael Voltaggio) came up with 16 finalists in the three categories: Restaurant, Cafe/Bar, and Lounge/Nightclub.

Kleiman, we're told, noted the nominees' "bold quirky choices" in design, and Voltaggio appreciated clever uses of funds to create impressive spaces: "We chose the nominees that got creative with the money they had, we also chose the nominees that got creative with the money they didn't have. This shows that creativity doesn't come from money, it comes from having good designs."

But what's also cool about the RDAs is that we can have a say, too. There will be a People's Choice Award in each category, so take a look at the nominees and then go vote. Voting is now open and will be available thru 12:00 noon on Monday, June 18th.

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The Restaurant Design Awards Ceremony will be held on Friday, June 22, as part of the annual Dwell on Design event.

Here are the nominees:


  • A-FRAME (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Knibb Design Corp
  • BEACHWOOD CAFE (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Bestor Architecture
  • CLYDE FRAZIER'S WINE AND DINE (New York, NY) designed by Morphosis
  • LA BIRRERIA (New York, NY) designed by TPG Architecture
  • MAXIMILIANO (Los Angeles, CA) designed by FreelandBuck
  • POPPY (Seattle, WA) designed by Zeroplus & Anne Fisher Associates
  • SHORT ORDER (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Ozzi Design & DiG Interiors
  • TAKE A BAO (Studio City, CA) designed by MASS Architecture and Design
  • TALISKER ON MAIN (Park City, UT) designed by Denton House Design Studio


  • LE ZINQUE (Venice, CA) designed by Modern Arc Inc.
  • NAPA FARMS MARKET (San Francisco, CA) designed by BCV Architects
  • SUSHI NOGUCHI (Yorba Linda, CA) designed by Poon Design Inc.


  • HARVARD AND STONE (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Houston Hospitality
  • HYDE LOUNGE (Los Angeles, CA) designed by G+ Design
  • LA DESCARGA (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Houston Hospitality
  • SALVAGE BAR (Los Angeles, CA) designed by Straight Designs & Tima Winter Inc.