Chicago-based interior, graphic, and brand design firm Ideation Studio transformed this 4,200-square-foot former office space in the Goald Coast into Vora, a pan-Asian restaurant and bar. With its sleek, dark surfaces and dabs of white and green, the design calls to mind another Ideation project: South Loop sushi spot Tamarind. Where Tamarind’s bamboo and earth tones suggest a more straightforward coziness, however, the charcoal palette that unites the Vora interior is meant to suggest rejuvenation. A Weitzner wall covering called Cumulus pops amid all the black. The flooring is Perfect Pebble from Island Stone. A tangle of light bulbs hangs over the bar like a cluster of mushrooms. Reclaimed wood and natural fibers speak to the menu’s focus on organic ingredients and “eating for your individual health concerns.”
Currently in soft open mode, Vora specializes in Taiwenese dim sum, but its dinner menu features an extensive sushi menu, Vietnamese bahn mi, and offerings from Chinese, Thai, and Korean cuisines. The broad windows and homey wood are appropriate for brunch service, while the gloss and luster cater to the evening lounge crowd. The menu tends towards eclectic, but like the design it is in pursuit of balance.