Bouchon chef Thomas Keller's food is fantastic,
but who makes that delectable tile?
If you saw this week's review of Bouchon, celebrated chef Thomas Keller's new restaurant in Beverly Hills, the rare three-star rating from Times critic S. Irene Virbila may not have been the only thing to grab your attention. The interior, which Virbila described as Paris bistro with "just a touch of Las Vegas build-out," sets the mood with striking indoor-outdoor tile. A custom design? Actually, it's off-the-shelf.
The design comes from Granada Tiles, a Southern California firm that still uses a centuries-old process: Pigmented cement is poured into intricate metal molds that keep colors separate, as seen at right. The tiles are then pressed and left to cure -- no firing, no glazing. The finished designs have a sturdy matte finish that absorbs light, so the colors appear rich and saturated.
Marcos Cajina, president of Granada Tiles, says such public projects invariably lead to orders for private residences. "Based on our experience with Intelligentsia Coffee, we're anticipating increased demand," Cajina said, referring to the Silver Lake coffeehouse where his blue-and-white tiles make a very bold statement.
The tile in the photo at top, a pattern called Copenhagen, is one of dozens available in various sizes and color combinations. Prices vary depending on the tile dimension, design and colors, but Cajina says most cost $7.75 to $13.50 a square foot.
To see more of Granada's patterns and for pictures of the company's recent installations at the Terranea Resort on the Palos Verde Peninsula, click to the jump. For a story on cement tile from the L.A. Times archive, click here.
-- Craig Nakano
Bouchon photo by Los Angeles Times; Terranea photo courtesy of Granada Tiles.