Palisades Village is buzzing about Porta Via Palisades—the latest addition to the new shopping/dining/walkable village concept from power developer Rick Caruso. Palisades Village features an outpost of Beverly Hills culinary destination Porta Via, which opened in 1993 and is owned by Peter Garland.
For Porta Via Palisades’s fabulous look, Garland brought in Sophie Goineau, a Los Angeles-based interior designer and artistic director with extensive experience in luxury private residences, hotels, spas, and retail spaces.
For her latest work, the designer drew inspiration from Palisades Village’s seaside location while honoring Porta Via’s original concept. Sophie created an integrated approach where the influences of a marina, British tea house and French brasserie fuse together in a timeless coastal enclave. All of the furniture is custom-designed for the project.
“Sophie Goineau evolved the original vision of the Beverly Hills location and created an updated, elevated design that is on point with the concept of what Porta Via is to our guests,” says Peter Garland. “She had the utmost sensitivity and understanding that Porta Via is a neighborhood restaurant with a world-class feel. We are thrilled with the design.”
“The connotation of organic, bistro, farm-to-table food, and coastal culture—of the Pacific Palisades and also East Coast places I went growing up, like the Hamptons and Maine—gave direction for the design approach,” notes Goineau. Antique brass finishes, natural stone, walnut tabletops, chevron paneled walls, wooden ceiling fans, and giant botanical greens are the details that harmoniously create the overall look. Pastel hues and shiny brass add a touch of 1940s sophistication.
“I used a rich palette of past memories and rich experiences in a relaxed, contemporary setting,” says Goineau, who also has offices in Montreal. Because the restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, she used a skylight to add to playful natural light and an organic, beachy feel. After all, she notes, “Brunch is the new dinner.”
Black-and-white striped marble floors enhance the optical dialog between internal and external spaces. Meanwhile, the natural oak chevron paneling on the wall, with high-gloss wainscoting beneath, brings in coastal influences. Hanging lights are suspended like fishing rods, and Ralph Lauren sconces resemble fishing pole holders on a boat.
“I don’t like to be generic; I like to mix styles and have references to movies, fashion and periods in history, like a collage,” says Goineau. “It creates the poetry of a space. All the textures and materials have to speak to each other. Every piece can stand on its own and be beautiful and functional.”
The Pacific Palisades are home to the 1949-built Eames House, where Ray and Charles Eames lived and worked, representing a landmark area in midcentury architecture. “They were masters of how we would live today, so there is an homage to them in some of the midcentury elements at Porta Via Palisades, including the upholstery and the banquette style,” reveals Goineau. Another nod to midcentury colors and forms, the sensual pink bar stools feature leather from Sweden and are custom designed and made in Quebec. “They are bold and lounge-y, bringing the feminine into the masculine,” says Goineau. Guests can also experience the pink hue follow them into the powder room.
Commissioned art, such as the painting of a rare roseate spoonbill bird by Tomek Sadurski (located at the center of the bar), further adds to the bespoke nature of the space. “For every object I do, I like for someone to feel something,” says Goineau. “If that resonates exactly with you as to what I was thinking, it’s amazing, but as long as it has an effect on you, if you have a connection with it, that is what’s important to me.”
Overall, the visual communication suggests a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere that is both casual and very classic. “You have to create a space where someone can have memories, make new ones, and just enjoy each other and casual good food. That’s what Pacific Palisades is like for me. That’s why the whole concept comes together.”
Porta Via Palisades is such a success, Goineau has been tasked with creative direction for the next outpost of the restaurant; this one in the celeb haven of Calabasas, California. It is slated to open at the end of 2019/early 2020.
Photography by Nancy Neil.
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