Roy Yamaguchi is a well-known chef who specializes in Hawaiian Fusion cuisine. After studying his culinary craft in New York City, Yamaguchi began an apprenticeship in Los Angeles before venturing out on his own with an array of eateries in Southern California. His story reminds me of my own journey from student to apprentice and eventually on my own as a San Diego architectural photographer.

Roy Yamaguchi’s Pacific Rim Cuisine (formerly known as Roy’s) is a newly remodeled and upgraded Pacific Rim Cuisine restaurant located in San Diego’s prime location in UTC/La Jolla. Though Roy currently calls Hawaii his home, the Tokyo born chef still maintains his signature restaurant in La Jolla where some of the finest Pacific Rim cuisine can be enjoyed by tourists and greater San Diego residents year-round.

The shoot for the restaurant starts with the tropical scene outside. Palm trees and torch lighting set the mood for patrons as they enter the building. After entering the restaurant itself, diners are able to relax in a serene atmosphere of high-quality design.

The lighting, for example, is shone through swirling fixtures that allow the light to dance across the ceilings in a unique display. Below, the booths against the wall are upholstered with dark leather to match the dark wood of the tables and chairs. The bar area borrows from the colors in the main dining area and adds lighter wood tables that match the wooden enclosures that house the wine racks.

Seating is available to accommodate varying party sizes from the intimate two person dining group to a family or group gathering at longer tables.

Being able to photograph the restaurant from all sorts of angles was a treat. While the restaurant was empty for my session, I was able to imagine the bustling staff serving a diverse assortment of clientele.