One may easily liken entering the glass door to Animae, just steps from San Diego bay, to stepping through a portal into a dreamy enchanted forest, designed by Bells + Whistles.

  • area / size 6,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • Type Restaurant,
  • Nestled into the ground floor of the luxury Pacific Gate Bosa tower, Animae’s design by Los Angeles-based design studio Bells + Whistles is a sexy Japanese mossy Art Deco mash-up that brilliantly compliments Chef Brian Malarkey’s distinctive coal-fired pan-Asian concept.

    Inspired in part by an ancient remote forest on Japan’s Yakushima Island, a bespoke Brinton’s wool carpet stretching the length of the 6000 SF room mimics the sun-kissed forest floor as custom noir terrazzo snakes like a shimmering river alongside it. Lush jade-toned, velvet booths rise from the floor as huge tête-à-tête spheres of cedar trees that segue upward into art-deco architecture, layering the space with a fantastical, theater-like experience. Lavish green velvet curtains float above a hand painted gilded cave that envelops a coral velvet banquette. Draped fringe-covered columns contribute to the feigned forest whimsy, while golden Fortuny chandeliers hang throughout.

    The 20-person bar at Animae also provides a feast for the senses. On center stage is a backlit mural of Berlin artists Sauer and Posavec’s, Big Chuck, depicting a dystopian mech battle of a future yet to come. Surrounded by scalloped uplighting from which deco wings spread and take flight. Luxurious and cozy, earthy and sophisticated, Animae is an enchanting space dripping in gold in which to dine and dream.

    Design: Bells + Whistles
    Photography: Dustin Bailey