AvroKO’s Social House Rescues Treasure Island


Some of us were in Vegas this past weekend, which may explain a few things. Doing our best to engage in design-worthy pursuits while away, it was our duty to make a reservation at Social House, the sushi-sake joint designed by the four hotties at AvroKO.

It must have been terribly distressing for the designers to get to this part of the brief: “And then, a life-sized galleon will sail in front of the space, filled with Jack Sparrow-esque types–but in this case, very obviously gay–who, using their highly developed gymnastics skills, board a neighboring boat where scantily-clad dancers have only their gyrating hips to defend themselves.” See, Social House is located in Treasure Island, or TI, as its signage insists, which has until recently resisted hipification. But now they’ve sexed up the street show, acronymed themselves, and hired AvroKO to design their flagship restaurant. So TI it is.

But it’s still Treasure Island, and AvroKO does something absolutely masterful with the place, in that it says ‘pirates’ without saying PIRATES. There are little touches everywhere that brought our group of gimmick-weary LA gals delight. There are empty birdcages clustered in the ceiling; you find the birds elsewhere. Exposed stone sometimes makes you feel like you’re in a cave (good), and tiny Chinoiserie effects warm up other rooms like magic. What are those things strung up over the sushi bar? Were those smelling salts lining the wall to the bathroom?

Our favorite had to be what we called the vault, a gilded stairway lined floor-to-ceiling with gold safety-deposit boxes. At once nightclub-luxe and fodder for childhood fantasy, it makes for the most grand and appropriate statement of all. It’s absolutely where the pirates of TI would stash their booty.