AIA/LA Opens Voting for Restaurant Design Awards

We're not the only ones asking you to vote on restaurant design. Consider it a double dose of democracy – the annual Restaurant Design Awards are back and asking the public to vote for a winner. Last week a panel of judges, including architect Dean Larkin, chef Mark Peel, and PR wiz Haily Zaki got together to review this year's candidates and select the nominees. The Jury winners will be announced June 24th at the AIA|LA Design Conference. As in previous years, the AIA|LA has opened up voting for the People's Choice award winner. The polls are open now until June 12th.

Like the last go-r0und, this year's nominees aren't confined to Southern California and includes restaurants as far away as Columbus Ohio and Portland, Maine.

Oddly, it's also not confined to restaurants that, um, exist anymore. Case in point – Culver City's casual Korean BBQ Gyenari which has already moved on to that great kitchen in the sky and is now a small-plates Korean joint called Moko.

There are some familiar faces in the running as well, such as Barbara Bestor, whose design for Pitfire Pizza in Culver City has also put the firm in the running for a James Beard award this year.

The shortlist is divided into three categories: restaurants, cafe/bar and nightclub/lounge nominees. The people's choice awards let the public vote for their favorite in each category.

Do you have a favorite missing from this list? A favorite new spot that's been overlooked? We're kind of surprised Mas Malo is missing from the list. Any others you can think of that deserve recognition? Let us know in the comments.

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