In an area saturated with such glamorous institutions as Spago and the Beverly Wiltshire hotel, a simple intervention can feel like a breath of fresh air. Such is the case with Yojisan, a new sushi bar just a stone’s throw from Rodeo Drive and headed up by L.A. chefs Giacomino Drago and Yoji Tajima. The duo brought in Dan Brunn to go minimal with the interior. Brunn responded with a few signature moves (the local designer has a penchant for red and white interiors) along with an injection of natural materials added to the mix.
The street-side facade is a half-wall of cedar planks with a glazed entrance running the entire width of the narrow restaurant. Inside, diners are greeted by an installation of plants that hang from the ceiling. Blacklit, the greenery casts leafy shadows across the front dining area.
While the white walls appear brand new, Brunn actually salvaged an existing sandblasted brick wall but shrouded it with a sheer white curtain. The opposite wall, with its dramatic display of floor-to-ceiling angled light coves, takes its cues from bamboo shoots.
But the most eye-catching features are found hanging from the all-black ceiling. Two massive volumes, painted brilliant red inside, are intended to suggest bento boxes. Acting like giant pendants, the volumes illuminate the dining areas and sushi bar located at the back of the restaurant.
When Yojisan is at capacity, with room for 60 patrons – either seated at custom-built tables and chairs, or at the concrete sushi counter – the interior takes on the liveliness of a restaurant in Tokyo that rarely closes.
Yojisan is located at 260 North Beverly Dr. in Beverly Hills, California.
See more inspiring restaurant interiors in our November/December issue, on newsstands now.