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2012 restaurant design award finalists announced

May 24, 2012 | 10:52 am

A-Frame restaurantA-Frame restaurantSome familiar names popped up in the list of finalists for the annual Restaurant Design Awards, announced Wednesday by the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Nominees include A-Frame, the Sean Knibb-designed restaurant in Culver City whose look we previewed before its opening, and Maximiliano, the Italian comfort food joint whose red spaghetti wall by the firm FreelandBuck we blogged about in January.

Also on the finalist list: Beachwood Cafe, the Hollywood spot whose design includes the Granada Tile cement designs we've been writing about for years, and Sushi Noguchi, a Yorba Linda restaurant where Poon Design created a smart look with the simplest of materials.

Carlo Caccavale, associate director of the AIA Los Angeles, said the awards program started as L.A.-centric but has quickly pushed its boundaries. 

"I am happy to say that over 50% of the entries come from outside L.A., which means that designers nationwide are receptive to the program and see it as a way to get recognition for their work," Caccavale said by email. "This ultimately is the mission of the AIA, to recognize and celebrate good, intelligent, efficient and sustainable design."

The chapter has set up a readers' choice poll so you can vote for your favorite. The AIA jury's winners and the readers' favorites will be announced June 22.

-- Craig Nakano

MaximilianoFreelandBuck's entry: Maximiliano, with its spaghetti wall.

Poon Design Sushi NoguchiPoon Design's entry: Sushi Noguchi in Yorba Linda.


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Daily Dish: The Times blog on L.A.'s food scene


Top photos: The Sean Knibb furniture and architecture of A-Frame in Culver City. Credit: Knibb Design