Ukraine-based YUDIN Design developed the interior design and brand identity for the 290-square-meter CALIFORNIA, an American-style Asian restaurant in Oblast, Ukraine. 

Aleksandr Yudin and Vladimir Yudin — the design team behind the restaurant — took inspiration from the state and the idea of California as a sun-drenched coastal region with a long-standing love of pan-Asian cuisine. 

The restaurant’s logo is based on the idea of a rising sun that greets guests at the entrance of the establishment. The word California is stylized in all caps and the “o” at the center is a circle that represents the sun. The design of the block letters and stylized circle logo look like the sun surrounded by rock hieroglyphs, so that any person, especially those who do not speak English, would understand it as a sun setting against a rocky shore. 

The design of the illuminated ceiling symbolizes the California sun and the long lines evoke both American skyscrapers and Japanese screens. The entire ceiling glows, providing a luxe element that the designers intended to match the feeling of a five-star casino. A central chandelier repeats the motif and evokes both Chinese lanterns and the idea of skyscrapers.

The design of the restaurant represents a mix of what the designer’s statement referred to as “European style with elements of Japanese minimalism, eclecticism interspersed with classics.” Symbolic elements typical for both American and Asian cultures fill the interior, which also features natural materials like marble and onyx. The floor is intended to resemble wet sand. The connection to nature and natural materials and tones reflects Asian culture.

Images courtesy of Rene van Dongen