Stayner Architects

Stayner Architects

Los Angeles, CA



Stayner Architects helped first-time restaurateurs and building owners Sarah and Pedro Resendiz translate their highly successful food truck Tamarindo — named for agua de tamarindo, a drink served throughout Latin America and made of the tropical tamarind fruit — into a full-service restaurant set in a former 1940s Streamline moderne men’s haberdashery in downtown San Clemente. Tamarindo introduces the conservative south edge of Orange County to the owner’s home-made cuisine from the Mexican state of Querétaro, north of Mexico City.

The restaurant’s design is based on research into Mexican artists and architects Juan O’Gorman (1905-82) and Mathias Goeritz (1915-90), known for their bold use of color and reinvention of organic Mesoamerican forms. Tamarindo’s interiors are saturated with color, illuminated by natural light during the day that transitions into amber and carmel lighting in the evening. Stayner Architects elevated the experience of eating outdoors by designing a space that feels more outside than inside, and translated the hand-made quality of the food into the construction materials and architectural details. American white ash millwork defines views and controls sound, while tactile raw materials such as rough-hewn lava, handmade tiles, and natural leather are designed to patina and change over time.

Stayner Architects led all aspects of the project development, including obtaining local and state entitlements for alcohol service, navigating the project through multiple reviews by the town’s notoriously-stringent historical design review board; providing full-service architectural services, including interior, lighting, and commercial kitchen design; partnering with the owners to provide construction management for construction of the project (though Stayner Architects’ general-contracting arm); designing the restaurant’s graphic identity and web presence; and developing terrazzo tables and countertops that were custom-fabricated by Stayner Architects’ in-house computer-numeric controlled stonemill.

Tamarindo Restaurant is located at 110 South El Camino Real, San Clemente, California 92672.

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Status: Built
Location: San Clemente, CA, US