her steakhouse named after 1930s boxing promoter Kate Mantilini,
restaurateur Marilyn Lewis directed architects Thom Mayne and Michael
Rotondi of Morphosis to create "a roadside steakhouse for the future –
with a clock." Mayne and Rotondi were part of a young generation of Los
Angeles architects who searched the city for commonplace materials to
use in their buildings. These "Deconstructivists" saw all objects as
potential building materials and were inspired by everything from chain
link fencing to hot-rod cars to watch mechanisms.
For Kate Mantilini, the architects transformed a former Wells Fargo
Bank branch on Wilshire Boulevard by using industrial materials to
create a scaffold-like cage around the exterior of the building. To meet
their client's desire for a clock, Mayne and Rotondi looked at watch
mechanisms and motors. They created a sculptural orrery – an old
fashioned mechanical model of the solar system – that projects through a
fourteen-foot skylight in the ceiling. One end of the orrery forms a
sundial on the roof while the other touches an etching of the restaurant
on the restaurant's floor.
The large, open interior dining space is filled with sunlight and the
walls layered with three-dimensional collages. Kate Mantilini is an
icon of the late 1980s dining scene in Los Angeles. By commissioning
Morphosis, Lewis created a restaurant where dining out was an experience
that went far beyond the food.
Last night, during dinner, Larry and I admired the center open space and high ceilings paired with the lower-ceiling booths. To us, this was reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright's design.
Now, back to the food. We started dinner with a martini. Perfect. We shared the Caesar Salad with REAL anchovies, thank you very much. Delicious. I ordered the Hobo Steak (grilled meatloaf). Larry ordered the White Chili (chili with chicken and white beans). Everything was served beautifully. The staff was on their toes. It was a lively, fun and yummy dining experience.
|Authentic Caesar Salad|
|Hobo Steak (grilled meatloaf), Mashed Potatoes, Kale|
We spent quite a bit of time after dinner, walking around, admiring and photographing the interior and exterior.
Note to David and Adam Lewis: Dont' forget to remove those wonderful murals and architectural elements inside and those faboo Kate Mantilini steel letters on the exterior of the building before you close!!! We will miss not having a Lewis-owned restaurant in Beverly Hills.