Guest Post: Ramekin Restaurant Makeover
While Emily is busy bonding with Charlie, she allowed me to do a guest post about Ramekin – a restaurant in Los Feliz that Monica Wang and I worked on. When Chef Jason Park approached us to help design his new restaurant a few months back, he had already started the design process himself. He had picked out chairs, tables, shelves, and even built his own light fixture and needed us to pick up where he left off. There were basically 4 things we needed to address: the outside space, the shelves, curtains, and filling up an empty wall inside.
The outside patio seemed to be the biggest challenge. Because the door is set back about 15 feet from the curb we needed come up with a way to make the outdoor space more inviting.
This certainly does not scream come in and eat our delicious made to order desserts – but something more along the lines of leave me alone. please. Our first step was to paint the walls. We decided on Behr’s Intellectual , which added some much needed dimension to the patio and also tied into the indoor space. Next we decided to install a living wall using Woolly Pockets. They come in a variety of colors and even feature a built in self watering tank. For you those you who do not have a green thumb I highly recommend these! We chose to go with the Charcoal Grey Woolly Pockets which matched the walls almost perfectly. We installed six on each wall and headed over to Sunset Nursery to load up on all kinds of succulents.
We wanted the living walls to have an organic shape so we bought a variety of different sizes and textures. We didn’t pick particularly large plants as we wanted them to have room to grow over the years.
Now onto the inside – Jason made these really great shelves out of reclaimed wood and pipes. All we had to do was style them, sounds like a breeze right? Well I learned styling shelves for a restaurant is very different than styling shelves for a home.
So what does one put on restaurant shelves? Old family photos and weird cat figurines your grandma gave you would surely be under appreciated by the general public.
Baskets, ceramics and glassware is what I came up with. Simple, universal and my favorite things to shop for. I wanted to keep to a simple color palette and stuck to mainly greens, whites and black. I was able to find almost everything from West Elm, Lawson Fenning, and Target. The pottery I made myself which you can find more of here.
Ramekin’s entire front wall is made up of glass – which I love but the sun beats directly through them in the summer, making it very very hot inside. We needed to come up with a solution that would still allow natural light to come in but that didn’t completely block off the floor to ceiling windows. Shades can be pretty expensive so we decided to make our own. Monica picked out this great sheer cotton fabric from the garment district downtown and took it to a tailor to get it hemmed. We slipped in some wooden rods on the bottom to keep the curtains pulled taught and viola!
The last thing we needed to address was this very big and very empty wall. We wanted a big statement piece on this wall but had a pretty limited budget. We decided to make this string art piece. Because the lamp and wood table (that Jason had custom made ) had organic shapes we wanted a simple design with straight lines. Next to it I hung a custom menu I made for them which is just roll of paper hooked to a 2 x 4. They can change it as often as needed to accommodate their seasonal menu.
If you’re local to Los Angeles I highly suggest stopping by Ramekin to try one of their desserts, they also feature seasonal salads and sandwiches for those who are craving something savory. All of their desserts are made to order, so if you’re in a rush this may not be the best place to grab a quick coissant and coffee – but if you want the best croissant you’ve ever had this is the place to go. I’d have to say the Strawberry Brick Toast ( pictured below ) is my favorite dish. It’s house-baked Japanese white bread coated in a sweet milk crisp then drizzled with chocolate and served over house made vanilla bean ice cream and topped off with fresh strawberries. I mean……
If you’re in the neighborhood definitely stop by Ramekin, your mouth will not be disappointed. I just started a blog so If you want to see more of what I’m up to you can do so here .
Photos and text by Tessa Neustadt