Olla Cocina awarded Golden Nail

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Olla Cocina, which brings an authentic Mexican feel and taste to San Pedro Square, won a Golden Nail Award for beautification.

Property Owner Mike Messenger and Habitat Design Project Director Jorge Romero accepted the award from SJDA’s Downtown Design Committee at the Year-in-Review meeting Dec. 9 at Hammer Theatre Center.

“The open-air garage doors give Olla Cocina an indoor / outdoor feel, like being in a little village square down in Baja California,” Messenger said.

The committee was impressed with the details of the restaurant architecture, including:

100-year-old Douglas fir salvaged from the garage across the street, used for the patio along San Pedro Street and indoor trellises;
Mexican cinder blocks dividing the bar from larger dining room;
Old telephone wires to suspend
lighting above the restaurant dining room;
Hand-painted signs;
A hostess station imported from Mexico.
“They repurposed all those materials into a fun and playful design,” said Steve Cox, chair of the committee and president of HPC Architecture on The Alameda.

“The attention to aesthetics and detail was key to obtaining the design feel we wanted,” added Romero.

The Golden Nails have recognized contributions in downtown design and architecture annually since 1996.

Olla Cocina, 17 N. San Pedro St., features pozole, ceviche, duck tacos, short rib tacos and Cadillac margaritas. Check ollacocina.com.