The subtle, clean and simple lines of RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen’s exterior would make any visitor or shopper of the Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles, CA, curious to see what culinary experience waited for them. 

The design team’s goal of emulating serenity within an eating establishment includes columns etched with Thai sayings on them, such as “Keep Your Heart Purified.”


Two oversized red doors flanked by ornate, metal tile-encrusted and gold-overlaid columns, two Burmese Buddha statues and one dragon sculpture welcome guests to the 7,500 sq. ft. restaurant that boasts an exotic, yet comfortable feel.

The subtle, clean and simple lines of RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen’s exterior would make any visitor or shopper of the Westfield Century City shopping center in Los Angeles, CA, curious to see what culinary experience waited for them.

Two oversized red doors flanked by ornate, metal tile-encrusted and gold-overlaid columns, two Burmese Buddha statues and one dragon sculpture welcome guests to the 7,500 sq. ft. restaurant that boasts an exotic, yet comfortable feel.

When the idea of a third type of concept eatery came up for The Cheesecake Factory establishment, Rick McCormack, vice president of design for the corporation, says he opted to go for something “not too serious, a bit whimsical yet was stylish.”

The women’s bathroom features tile from Le Stuoie and Linea Perla on the floor. The walls combine tile from Artistic Mosaic Tile and Sade.

He further went on to say, that blending several Southeastern Asian cultures, décor and food seemed to be the direction the team wanted to pursue in the corporation’s newest undertaking.

According to The Cheesecake Factory, “The design and decor were inspired by a hotel in the Maldives and incorporates the resort feel of Southeast Asia…distinguished by soaring ceilings, hand-carved timber beams, limestone flooring and ornate Asian art, combined with the warm colors of saffron and plum inspired by the robes of Buddhist monks.” Yet another example of the team’s goal of emulating serenity within an eating establishment includes columns etched with Thai sayings on them, such as “Keep Your Heart Purified.”

Attention to detail also ranked high among the design team, which included: David Overton, The Cheesecake Factory founder and ceo; Ryan Gee, project manager; Amelie Hicks, interior designer; and Angela Allen, interior designer.

According to The Cheesecake Factory, “The design and decor were inspired by a hotel in the Maldives and incorporates the resort feel of Southeast Asia…distinguished by soaring ceilings, hand-carved timber beams, limestone flooring and ornate Asian art.”

Asked about the challenges that this project presented, McCormack said, “When we were designing the restaurant, we had to comply with the shopping center’s management in keeping the exterior unobtrusive…it had to blend in.” Not completely satisfied with what was available locally, while meeting the design team’s needs, McCormack and his supplier went to Beijing, China, for more than a week to conduct research.

As McCormack’s first time “dealing with flooring product from China,” he felt apprehensive about conducting business with a manufacturer so far away. “Thankfully, Paolo from Gemstar Group USA, our tile and stone supplier, kept me at ease,” McCormack added. All the stone and tile used in this project was provided and installed by Gemstar Group USA in Houston, TX.

“The trip allowed us to do a better, cost-effective design - efficiently. It was a great experience, and I would definitely do it again.”