The Saizon restaurant is currently the hottest restaurant in Fresno, California. This is certainly due to the excellent fusion cuisine, but also to the interior design. Designed by Los Angeles-based studio UNLTD, it reflects the ethnic heritage of the region and the nearby ocean.
Tostadas meet Dungeness crab, the salmon gets a coriander crust and the surf & turf is served on black beans. The new Saizon restaurant in Fresno delights its guests with delicious fusion cuisine with Mexican influences and modern Californian sea food.
Unlimited design ideas
However, this is not the only reason why the restaurant became one of the hippest in the city shortly after opening. The multi-award-winning studio UNLTD, based in the Design-Mekka Los Angeles also deserves credit for its popularity.
Interior meets fusion cuisine
“You eat with your eyes”: the UNLTD designers, who have specialised in the hospitality industry for years, have taken this old saying very literally this time. Instead of simply creating a chic ambience for large dinners or a small after-work cocktail round at the bar, they have taken up the restaurant’s motto with their design: Mexico City meets Napa Valley.
The fusion cuisine of the Saizon restaurant is also reflected in the Fusion-Interior. Across 500 square metres of dining space and an 80 square metre outdoor terrace, the furniture, colours and design elements continue the story told on the plates and in the glasses about the region’s multicultural heritage and its proximity to the ocean – and vice versa.
Under the pier
The basic architectural structure, for example, makes reference to the sea: the heavy columns and beams are reminiscent of the weathered supports of a pier exposed to the tides. Studios Colibri contributed their expertise in special plastering work here.
The pillars form a kind of backbone and grid framework for all the service areas of the Saizon: from the open-plan kitchen to the raised bar and the private dining area. In between, moulded concrete wall tiles provide texture and depth.
Ocean in the restaurant
The pleasingly diverse selection of materials and shapes for the furniture creates a nice contrast to the fixed grid. Seating groups in earthy leather and dark-stained oak – supplied by Ethimo, Pedrali, Brass & Burl, Mindo, Kathy Kuo and Pollack & Garrett Leather – are interspersed with vibrant ocean blue accents and copper highlights. The largely customised furniture is decorated with inlaid metal on the table tops and profiles.
They are illuminated by customised pendant lamps with ceramic shades contributed by Brendan Ravenhill, Allied Maker, Paul Paige and CU29. The lighting accents are not random, but strategically placed. They give the different zones their own rhythm, alluding to the ebb and flow of the ocean.
Walk on water
The dramatic effect is enhanced by works by local artisans and artists, which lend the entire restaurant a nostalgic patina despite its modernity. Carolina Lizarraga, for example, designed the soffit above the bar and the serving hatch: The lacquered surface is reminiscent of the rusted metal on the underside of an old fishing boat.
It is also worth looking down: a painted floor stretches out beneath the guests’ feet. You almost think you’re walking on water – it depicts waves breaking on a sandy beach.
The waves carry visitors from the bar area through the lounge and finally into the private dining room. Its walls are made of rustic blocks with carved geometric patterns – inspired by ancient Mexican ruins. They are illuminated by the warm glow of a double-sided fireplace embedded in them. And: by skilfully used accent lighting.
It is precisely this accent lighting that draws attention to works of art and wall panelling throughout the restaurant. The energetic mural by Yomar Augusto, which draws its inspiration from the geometries of the space and the forces of nature, catches the eye as soon as you enter. The surroundings of the Saizon restaurant – an unattractive industrial estate – are immediately forgotten thanks to its blaze of colour. There is no better way to get guests in the mood for the culinary experiences at Saizon.
Text: Daniela Schuster
Bilder: Zack Benson Photography /v2com