Location: Costa Mesa, California
Complete renovation of a 5,000 square foot, 110-seat restaurant, kitchen and dining patio for Michelin-starred chef Tony Esnault and restauranteur Yassmin Sarmadi’s new French restaurant at South Coast Plaza. Johnson Fain’s design team took inspiration from the name Knife Pleat, which is a nod to the intermingling of the culinary and fashion worlds, looking to the classic fashion designers for visual themes: Chanel, Dior and Balenciaga. The palette is muted with a few dramatic accents, the silhouettes are feminine but structured, and the style is modern with classic detailing. Exterior design elements include a storefront comprised of backlit, translucent white onyx walls with polished brass inlays, and large sliding doors of custom patterned glass that open the restaurant to connect the main dining area to the skylit South Coast Plaza shopping center. The outdoor dining patio features limestone walls, a full-height landscaped wall and a metal and wood trellis. Interior features include a dining area anchored by a feature bar made of fluted cast stone and brass with a richly veined Calacatta marble top adjacent to an open kitchen, creating a more intimate connection between the chef and the diners. The dining room features a custom brass and translucent glass light fixture which branches out over the main dining room. Johnson Fain designed and developed the architecture, interiors and furnishings from concept design through construction.