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Heat Bar & Kitchen, restaurant, lava wall

Heat Bar & Kitchen was formerly an old neighborhood cafe - comfortable, yet badly in need of an update. The new owners were looking to open a full-service restaurant that would become an iconic landmark in the San Diego neighborhood of Hillcrest.


The challenge was to create a warm, inviting atmosphere that evoked heat and fire, while preserving a cool, clean aesthetic for daytime dining and brunch.


We chose molten gold for our inspiration; the cracked Lava Wall glows red at night, and during the day metallic gold fills the veins. The large rounds marching down the booth wall recall the crucibles that are used to smelt metal. The gold and cream is crisp and clean in the daylight, and the restaurant is aglow with warmth and light at night.

Through the large front windows
Glowing "crucibles"
Lava Wall
Lounge area, big open windows
Front elevation
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