If the food is sumptuous, why shouldn’t the decor be, too? In Los Angeles, diners looking for a multi-sensory experience can now head to Olivetta, a new Mediterranean-inspired eatery by the restaurateurs behind the Draycott in Pacific Palisades. With a classy but comfortable European vibe, Olivetta pushes back against contemporary restaurant design trends that equate raucous noise with popularity.
Located on Melrose Avenue near West Hollywood, Olivetta blends LA’s sunny, relaxed personality with a bit of Old World flair. Owners Marissa and Matt Hermer hired Tom Parker of interior design firm Fettle, who also designed the Draycott, to infuse the space with equal parts freshness and nostalgia. Contrasting with the airy black-and-white interiors commonly seen along the rest of Melrose, Olivetta is filled with cheerful colors, moody lighting, and soft textiles.
The space is roughly divided into four areas: a bar, a dining room, a “living room” lounge, and a sun room, each with its own particular atmosphere. The idea, Parker explains, is to make it easy to close off certain areas for private parties while leaving the rest open. A lot of consideration has been given to how the spaces change as day turns into night.
The restaurant’s official website reads: “Beneath an expansive skylight and fabric lined ceilings of the Dining Room lies the feature that best summarizes our spirit…a mural-style wallpaper designed by London-based artist Adam Ellis. Imagined in an art deco style and awash in the rich beauty of California’s flora and fauna set in glimmering gold leaf, this flamboyant print clearly defines the panache of Olivetta.”
“Lounging beside the pill-shaped martini bar that serves as the heart of the space, you’ll find the Living Room to be a incredibly comfortable setting in which to enjoy cocktails and conversation. The original artwork by Jack Lewis and Emily Baker, as well as the sumptuous velvet banquettes, add to the cozy old-world charm of the room.”
“The intimate space of the Barroom, anchored by a grand white marble bar, is rich, bold, and in all respects theatrical. Blue mohair walls and commissioned artworks by Shana Fraise, Stephanie Morton, and Blakeney Sanford hang beneath a striking French Riviera-inspired fabric ceiling. The Cabaret Stage in the center of the room hosts live performances and DJ sets nightly.”
“The white-rendered, ivy covered walls of the Sunroom, with beautiful Bougainvillea vines climbing their way into the trellis roof, are reminiscent of the public gardens of coastal northern Italy; creating an airy background for the striking contemporary art by Larry Bell hanging above the fireplace mantle.”
The different materials in each space are similarly thoughtful, including durable leather banquettes in the barroom so that “if it does get rowdy at night, and someone stands on it, you don’t want to put a heel mark through,” Parker tells Architectural Digest. And unlike so many restaurants full of hard, acoustically unkind surfaces that can make it hard to hear your dining companions, Olivetta features acoustically treated walls and fabric ceilings to enhance comfort and intimacy.
Let’s not forget the most important part: the food. Executive chef Michael Fiorelli presides over a pan-Mediterranean menu with influences from Greece, France, Spain, and Italy. You’ll find classic Italian comfort food items like pasta and bread, but there’s also plenty of fresh seafood, artful combinations of fruits and vegetables, roasted meats, and vegan options, too.