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Marmol Radziner Rolls With a Warm Wood Interior Inside KazuNori

10.25.16 | By
Marmol Radziner Rolls With a Warm Wood Interior Inside KazuNori

Los Angeles architecture and construction firm Marmol Radziner are renowned for sophisticated residential architecture and custom furniture, most notably the historic restoration of Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House in Palm Springs and their desert prefab prototypes. It’s fair to say the firm has left their mark across the Southern California architectural landscape in multitude. But count us surprised to walk through the doors for lunch to discover their signature attention to form, light, and material inside the modest confines of a Westwood sushi hand roll bar.

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The U-shaped bar creates not only an intimacy between diners and chefs as they prepare orders nearby, but also a communal dining experience where conversation is easily sparked between bites.

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KazuNori Westwood is the second of two locations dedicated to the Japanese hand roll (Los Angeles sushi aficionados will recognize the Kazunori Nozawa moniker attached to the business).

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Interior lighting is configured indirectly and at a warmer temperature, the glow simulating flame rather than an electrical source.

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Because the sum of textures and patterns are subtle and mostly of natural origin, the interior maintains a cohesive organic and weathered environment.

Diners are greeted with 24-stools surrounding a U-shaped bar constructed with bleached eucalyptus wood; a team of chefs operate from behind the counter with a sculptural bleached rustic white oak “roof” looming overhead with inset lighting illuminating the counter. The mood within is industrial-modern, yet invitingly cozy thanks to the contrasting warmth of wood strategically visible anywhere while seated at the counter. The total effect is reminiscent of the U-shaped diners and izakaya bars made famous in Tokyo, and inspired by co-founding Sushi Nozawa Group partner Tom Nozawa’s childhood memories of homemade temaki (hand rolls).

Marmol Radziner KazuNori Westwood Rendering[2]

Conceptual render of the space before construction. Image: Marmol Radziner

When asked about the overarching concept behind the eatery’s interior design, Marmol Radziner explains:

The counter was a programmatic requirement of the client. The U-shaped bar is integral to the client’s concept of the ‘Original Hand Roll Bar’, with the lower ceiling as an element designed to create an idea of intimacy and to focus the lighting over the diners. The lighting scheme was to have a dark, shadowy outer area and focus all the light on the food and those making it. The warm wood was to provide a visual warm and natural, raw feel to the space.

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And for the gastronomically curious: our lunch of KazuNori Westwood hand rolls – the entire selection – was delicious and affordable!

Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.