Los Angeles is a city better known for wide-open beaches and expansive freeways than hole-in-the-wall trattorias. But for Stayner Architects, based in the east L.A. neighborhood of Echo Park, a 1928 historic building one block away from its office presented a unique opportunity to design a local restaurant that fuses the spirit of perpetually sunny southern California with the layered history of Italy’s ancient capital.
At the new Rome-inspired eatery Bacetti, which opened on Echo Park Avenue in November of 2021, pinkish terrazzo floors, exposed brick walls, and old-fashioned table settings coalesce with desert plants, large copper panels crafted by the local artist Matt Lipps, and skylights that expose L.A.’s quintessential blue skies. Patrons have the option to sit in the daylit atrium, a booth-filled dining room, or a streetside parking pocket park.
Many of the restaurant’s finishes and surfaces, including its colorful terrazzo countertops, were milled using Stayner Architects’ own three-axis CNC techniques. The firm’s production site on Glendale Boulevard allows for a variety of custom forms to be crafted from wood, stone, or ceramic, turning what the firm called “a project-specific material and budgetary challenge” into “the impetus to take on new design opportunities at a variety of scales.”