The first location of Nami Nori in Manhattan’s West Village opened in 2019 and is a casual 35-seat restaurant domestic in scale and detailing. Inspired by the idea of a “Japanese beach house,” the pale tonal palette is given warmth and texture through a handcrafted, yet minimal approach to woodwork and furnishings. Maple, linen, weathered oak, copper, and hand-applied plaster combine to create a sense of visual warmth and tactility.
Lighting is subtle and shifts tone throughout the day: a bright and airy atmosphere defines lunch, while an enveloping and warm hue brings the space deep into the evening. This original location was an international finalist in the 2020 Restaurant & Bar Design Awards, inspiring subsequent openings in Williamsburg and Montclair, New Jersey.
Custom dried floral arrangements are assembled from foraged coastal foliage, while the restaurant exterior is planted with species native to the nearby marshes that line the city’s river edge. Small details encourage guests to use and enjoy the space as if they were at home or visiting a friend, lending a casualness to an often-exclusive dining genre.
“It is not often we are equally impressed by food and design innovation with the same intensity,” wrote Design Milk, “But Nami Nori, a new Japanese restaurant in NYC’s West Village, has officially blown us away.”
Photos by Sebastian Lucrecio
"Aiding the cause is local studio MN who have drawn light streaming in through the high windows deep into the narrow 40-seat space of white-washed bricks by installing blonde timber furniture and terrazzo, and diffusing light from below the L-shaped bar counter, whilst rattan stools and slatted screens add to the impression of physical levity and an appropriately Japanese serenity."
Color code number of Benjamin Moore’s "Mayonnaise", the soft creamy white paint used to wash the existing brick walls helping draw light deeper into the long, narrow space
Strips of pencil cane provide texture at the dining counters
First of three (and counting) Nami Nori locations
Number of dining counters, helmed by two chefs each, totaling nearly 50 linear feet of customer counter space
Private dining room seats located adjacent to the rear yard facing picture window
Hidden kitchen square footage