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Blue Ocean Robata + Sushi Bar by Bells & Whistles


The award-winning, Los Angeles based design studio Bells & Whistles has recently completed the 3000 square-foot of the Blue Ocean Robata + Sushi Bar at 2958 Madison Street in Carlsbad, California. In presenting a fresh, re-definition of Japanese cuisine, the owner’s vision for Blue Ocean Robata + Sushi Bar was something completely new and non-traditional. “The opportunity to complement the expectation-defying cuisine offered at Blue Ocean with a similarly unanticipated space was an exciting challenge,” said Bells & Whistles principal designer Barbara Rourke, who, along with co-principal Jason St. John, responded with a conceptual approach both modern and uniquely oceanic.


The experience starts with the exterior space and landscaping that mimics coral beds, a rocky shoreline and surface-grazing minnows swimming alongside the origami-inspired signage. A sculptural, geometric fish entryway beckons the guest indoors and transports to a wondrous undersea world with wood flooring the color of the sandy ocean bottom, urchin-like lamps, and delicate bubbles of air floating to meet the refracted light of the ocean’s surface as symbolized by the origami ceiling.


“The modern, geometric design is inspired in no small part by its location; the tidal plains of Carlsbad State Beach and the rich marine ecosystem that inhabits the coastal kelp beds,” says St. John. “The sunlight, energy and colors of Southern California provided a rich tapestry of tones and shapes that drove the design process.”

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all images courtesy of BELLS & WHISTLES