Barbara Lazaroff: Behind the design of Granita

Barbara Lazaroff Restaurant Design
The design of Granita

Granita in Malibu was a unique and elegant restaurant with interiors inspired by the Mediterranean and other regions of the world.
Lazaroff’s design is a fusion of various contemporary and classical components, interpreted into a highly defined, personal statement.

No write-up today, however, captures the big splash Granita made when it opened.
This was Barbara Lazaroff’s most elaborate restaurant endeavor, at once putting Granita on the map and pushing the Wolfgang Puck reputation up another notch, albeit setting it back on cash-in-hand. Still, it made “The LA List” in Wine Spectator: Harvey Steiman noted Barbara Lazaroff’s “exuberant design for Granita.” That was 1995: a decade later, the Food Network was still talking about its “Mediterranean colors and flavors.” Gayot still calls Granita “Wolfgang Puck’s Spago-by-the-Sea” and again there is mention of Barbara’s “exuberant undersea design,” which together with Jennifer Naylor’s Mediterranean cuisine makes for great fun. ~Juliette Rossant, SuperChefBlog

Excerpt from The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous Cookbook
Recipes and Entertaining Secrets from the Most Extraordinary People in the World:
Wolfgang Puck and Barbara Lazaroff 
by Robin Leach 1992

Barbara Lazaroff fitting tiles into a pillar at Granita
Barbara Lazaroff fitting tiles into a pillar at Granita

“We work with the same general concept, but our jobs are very different,” said Barbara.  “Wolfgang can change and revise the menu along the way, even after the restaurant opens. My interior has to maintain a contemporary look for at least ten years. I”m at the job site every day when we’re building, so every detail is exactly as I want it.. At Granita, I laid all the colored sea stones and shells into the bar top. I work right alongside the craftsmen and artisans. I’m as comfortable at my construction side as Wolf is in his kitchen.”

In 1991, Granita was selected as the cover study for Restaurant/Hotel Design magazine and has received numerous international design awards. You’ll see some of the coverage below.

The design of the Granita undersea fantasy

A look into the construction of Granita

A talented group of 120 of the finest American craftspeople including ceramic artists, hand‑blown glass formulators, stone masons, glass etchers, metal craftsmen, woodworkers, fabric painters and fine artists were gathered to realize the unique elements that comprise Granita’s visual signature.

The Restaurant/Hotel Design magazine cover feature

Restaurant/Hotel Design International: The Magazine for the Hospitality Design Team
Granita: Water Music – A lyrical new restaurant celebrates the sea in light, form, and detail

by M.J. Madigan
6 pages
Read now by opening this pdf in a new window or tab.