Esperanza Cocina de la Playa takes design cues from beach and curved forms

This new Los Angeles restaurant’s organic design is reminiscent of an ocean teeming with waves.

Manhattan Beach is the epitome of California living, with its year- round sunny weather and relaxed coastal atmosphere. Esperanza Cocina de la Playa, a new restaurant in the area, builds on that experience.

Iceland-born architect Gulla Jonsdottir, based in Los Angeles, designed the building with organic shapes that can’t be missed from the street. Although built during the pandemic, which presented many challenges, the outcome was well worth the effort.

An all-open facade leads to the restaurant on the ground floor, which features indoor open dining spaces in the centre and on the right side of the interior, plus a bar on the left side. “We wanted to welcome neighbours and guests with open arms,” says Gulla, who applied nature’s curved forms throughout the space.

In addition to Luteca bar stools, leather and bronze dining chairs, and the L’Aviva Home pendant lights, the restaurant offers the new Style Union Home ceramic collection by Kym Gold, co-founder of clothing company True Religion.

“Everything is handmade,” Kym says. “The pieces we chose for the restaurant are very organic, wavy, and reminiscent of the ocean and the sand.”

Vases, baskets, bowls, and other items from this new line adorn Esperanza’s different areas. In contrast to the lighter main area of the restaurant, the bar and cocktail area are in moody shades of green. “I opened my first True Religion flagship store on the same street, so it was great to be back,” Kym says. “It all came full circle for me.”

“The colours also reflect the dunes of Los Cabos, Mexico, and are accented with white plaster, bronze details, light oak with darker wood tones, as well as a touch of lemon yellow in the leather chairs,” comments Gulla. The play of light and shadow enhances the romantic ambience.

In Esperanza, everyone is on vacation, even if it’s just for one night.

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"I had a great team at my last business and have the same now. When you have reliable people on your team that feels appreciated and empowered, your business can be unstoppable. Surround yourself with competent and dedicated members that you can trust delegating tasks."

Kym Gold