Dining Design Diary: Tsujita L.A.


Ramen shops aren’t usually known as havens for high end design. Most of the ramen shops in SoCal feature overhead flourescent lighting and a lot of blond wood. So it’s nice to see a departure from the usual aesthetic in the soon-to-open Tsujita on Sawtelle in West L.A. The ramen house is a part of a Japan-based chain, with an existing location in Costa Mesa (inside a Mitsuwa supermarket). 

Designer Takeshi Sano of Sweet Design has fashioned a ceiling out of 25,000 wooden sticks to resemble cloud formations and Izumo-Taishi, one of Japan’s most important Shinto shrines. If the design looks somewhat familiar, that may be because it closely resembles the ceiling in New York’s now defunct Tides restaurant created by LTL Architects. In fact, it looks so much like it, it’s hard to tell is this is homage or theft.


According to Sano’s own description:

“In order to increase a reality of clouds, I calculate the focal length between eye line and wooden sticks and use that length for the stick length. Also I made difference on the distance between stick each other so that to make a stereoscopic effect to wooden cloud. Not only for this project. I’m always challenging to create a space that coexist art and interior. At the same time, I’d like people to feel the delicate of beauty, which Japanese have, and Japanese atmosphere when they visit here so that they will think that they want to visit Japan.  I’d like to make this restaurant as one of an element for Japanese reconstruction.”

According to Grub Street LA, the noodle house should be opening any day now. Let’s just hope those 25,000 wood sticks are seismically sound.

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