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Intelligentsia, Varnish & South Beverly Grill Win at Restaurant Design Awards

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Intelligentsia Venice, designed by MASS Architecture + Design, tied to win the Café award (photo by Edward Duarte)

Intelligentsia Venice, designed by MASS Architecture + Design, tied to win the Café award (photo by Edward Duarte)
Three local businesses took top honors in the Restaurant Design Awards tonight at the Dwell on Design conference. Organized by the American Institute of Architects Los Angeles (AIA|LA), the 6th Annual Restaurant Design Awards accepts projects from across the country in three categories: restaurants, cafés and bars and lounges.In the café category, Intelligentsia Venice tied with Mod Market, which also took a people's choice award, of Boulder, Colorado. URBNMRKT and Café de Leche, both in Los Angeles, and Sandwiched in New York City were all nominated.

While the "urban wine tasting bar" Press Club in San Francisco took the juried bar and lounge award, the hidden speakeasy at the back of Cole's in downtown Los Angeles won the people's choice award for the category. Also nominated was the tequila-mezcal themed Las Perlas. Across the street from one another on 6th Street, both of the L.A. spots are owned by Cedd Moses, also known for Seven Grand, Broadway Bar and Golden Gopher.

Facing two Brooklyn restaurants, Char No. 4 and Choice Restaurant, South Beverly Grill in Beverly Hills took top jury honors in the restaurant category.

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“The finalists were ultimately chosen because they all conveyed something more honest; cohesive concepts that had grown organically, that didn’t challenge the diner but rather invited them to an experience,” explained judge Chef Ben Ford of Ford's Filling Station in Culver City.

Other judges included Dwell Magazine Founder and Owner Lara Hedberg Deam, Clive Piercy of Air Conditioned Design and Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group.

Four Los Angeles eateries won awards in 2009: Bottega Louie, Conga Room, Chaya Downtown and Lab Gastropub.