Los Angeles, CA
Posted March 22, 2000

National and cultural boundaries are blending every day, especially in such "melting pot" areas as the Caribbean and the Pacific Rim. It should come as no surprise, then, that a new shopping center in West Los Angeles has a Japanese theme, and it features Mizu212°, a restaurant where patrons prepare their own food at tableside in the Japanese Shabu Shabu tradition.

The Japanese feel is carried through the design (by Atlaschi Hatfield Architects, Los Angeles), with clean textures, colors and finishes evoking a sense of elegant restraint. Exhaust hoods (required for the venting of tableside steam) were turned into design elements that break the small, high space into distinct zones, and bursts of color (such as a Pop-art Felix the Cat) add flavor to the neutral palette of steel, wood and stone. A sandblasted aluminum-and-plastic screen updates the shoji screen concept while shielding patrons from restrooms and payphones. The meeting of East and West is typical of Mizu212°'s concept, sophisticated without being cold.

Design: Atlaschi Hatfield Architects Inc., Los Angeles -- Amin Atlaschi and Russell Hatfield, project team

Suppliers/Fabricators: Denon/Klipsch Audio (audio/video); Casper Showcase, Paramont, Calif. (fixturing); Sonneborn, Hayward, Calif. (flooring); Best Bars and Booths, Los Angeles (furniture); Fast Signs, Topanga, Calif. (graphics); Bega, Carpinteria, Calif. (lighting); CSL Lighting Mfg. Inc., Valencia, Calif. (lighting); Flos USA Inc., Huntington Station, N.Y. (lighting); Lightolier Inc., Fall River, Mass. (lighting); Dal-Tile Corp., Dallas (tile); Lamin-Art, Elk Grove Village, Ill. (laminates); PHR Productions, Encino, Calif. (kitchen/food equipment consultant)

Photography: Paul Bielenberg, Bielenberg Associates, Los Angeles