SCRDG was first introduced to the vision of Soul in October 2014 when we met Chef Yealang Smith. Shortly after, we were the successful bidder on the kitchen build project designed by Kelly Architects of Los Angeles, CA. To start, we worked with the chef to alter the initial kitchen design for menu changes that she and the owner wanted to implement; like specialty Soul pizza and catering options. We also helped her test and select a smoker so she could add that signature and soulful smoky flavor to her foods.
The restaurant is located in a multi-story, multi-use building which made accommodating a commercial kitchen challenging. Much of the behind the scenes space is in the basement – such as walk-in refrigerators, general storage and the grease interceptor. Our expertise and outside the box approach in solving the most unusual restaurant kitchen design problems allowed us to successfully meet building and health codes.
The kitchen footprint and ceiling height also proved challenging. With a ceiling height several inches shorter than most commercial kitchens and a footprint too small for the amount of seating Soul intended, we had to utilize every inch of space through strategic use and placement of kitchen equipment to ensure efficiency, flow and safety.
A true labor of love, this project took almost two years to open after over six years of planning, working with the historical society, and all of the additional building requirements that come with working on an older building in Hollywood, CA. But thanks to a lot of hard work, we can now all taste a bit of Soul in Hollywood.
Read more about our project in Chef’s Roll’s article Yealang Smith and the Ten Year Opening of Soul Hollywood.