Art Deco Meets California Charm at L.A.’s Five Leaves Restaurant
A little bit of Brooklyn just landed in Los Angeles, but anyone expecting a copycat of the beloved Five Leaves restaurant will find that it has a flavor that’s entirely its own.
While the original bistro is known for its wood-clad comfort, capturing the spirit of its Bedford Avenue location in the Greenpoint neighborhood, the Los Angeles location takes inspiration from its own unique location within an old art deco building. Designers Home Studios are based in Brooklyn themselves, but they didn’t hesitate to dive right into West Coast style and make it their own.
Certain details in the new restaurant echo those seen on the other side of the country, including the arched shape of the bars, metallic accents all throughout, and a general sense of casual airiness. But fittingly enough, Five Leaves LA feels remarkably sunnier than its predecessor, thanks in part to high ceilings, light walls, and curving built-in banquettes in mustard yellow and a shade of coral that verges on terra cotta.
The new 2,430-square-foot space occupying the first floor of Hollywood’s Merrick Building is split into dining and bar areas, each given a window into the other. The long white bar top stretches like a ribbon over its bright turquoise base, with glass bottles carefully arranged behind it like an apothecary.
The back bar itself is custom-made from black steel by Shelton Studios, as are the plant shelves holding succulents and tropicals, which run just below the ceiling and through the entire space. In the dining area, all of the building’s rounded and arched shapes are echoed by modern pendant lighting.
The Los Angeles space is about twice the size of the restaurant in Brooklyn, giving the designers more to work with, but that presents its own challenges in terms of keeping the vibe cozy, says designer Oliver Haslegrave. Dropping the pendant lights down low over the tables was one way to achieve their desired mood.
“On the whole, if you were to put the two in front of somebody, and ask which is in New York and which is in L.A., I think they’d guess right,” says Haslegrave in an interview with Architectural Digest. “The new one is lighter and softer in materials and finishes. There’s a lot of reclaimed woodwork. There’s a little bit more color in the upholstery and paint finishes. The floor and metalwork are very true to the original in terms of their rawness. Ultimately, it’s going to be about energy. For the design part, you want to read the room, so to speak, in terms of what is the energy there, and the building.”
Serving a New American menu with an Aussie twist all day long, Five Leaves Los Angeles offers everything from breakfast with grapefruit mimosas to dinner with its signature Turmeric Bees Knees cocktail, which features gin, lemon, turmeric-infused honey, orange bitters, and spices.
Some standout plates at Five Leaves L.A. include “gravlax,” a breakfast plate with house-cured char, watercress, beet-cured egg, pickled onion, caper cream cheese, and toasted rye, as well as minted cavatelli with English peas, green garlic, Meyer lemon, and smoked ricotta.