Mendocino Farms, Los Angeles’ popular sandwich joint, has quickly become an institution. Since opening a small stand on Grand Avenue downtown a few years back, the restaurant’s huge success (and lines) have spawned several more openings around the city.
The company’s de facto architects, Poon Design, designed the latest location, at 3rd and Fairfax Avenue along Miracle Mile. Poon has designed three other locations: in downtown LA, Marina Del Rey, and West Hollywood; and work has begun on on yet another location, for downtown. The new restaurant, across the street from the city’s heavily visited Farmer’s Market, will fuse traditional Americana with a contemporary palette, not to mention a sense of humor. According to the design team, this location is meant to appeal less to the business types downtown and more to the families further west.
“The idea was to make the place comfortable. Like the sandwiches, these things want to appear handmade and crafted,” explained Poon design principal John Kim.
The space is lit by chandeliers, each made from 1,600 wood clothespins on wire frames, and a vaudeville sign exhorts diners to “Eat Happy.” A tree grows out of the wood and industrial pipe community table. There’s even artificial grass covering some of the benches, creating a picnic atmosphere.