Isabel is a Restaurant

The sleek, perhaps out of place concrete and glass box at the corner of NW 10th and Flanders Streets ironically houses a Latin/Asian fusion restaurant that opens to a pocket courtyard on the afternoon side of the Elizabeth Lofts in the Pearl District. The large glass doors pivot open on nice days to release tables and the lunch crowd elegantly into the cobblestone square. 

From every turn of pebbly stone and rise of smooth concrete, there is beauty in this sublime form. While the context is so much of brick and tradition, this modern box is a breath of fresh air and a unique icon in the neighborhood. 

I found the building hard to photograph as the sun was in the wrong place and the building largely sits in shadow. I probably appreciate it less after further investigation, having settled down from my initial joyful fascinations. The strongest facades are definitely the north side which faces Flanders and contains the front door, and the east side which faces the small pedestrian passage that separates Isabel from Elizabeth (represented by the image above). The flagstones with some irregular vertical grout lines are both playful and robust.

The facades facing 10th Avenue and the cobblestone square are weaker, I think for their simplicity of concrete post and beam construction; however, as a whole the composition is perhaps well composed. These sides are the more functional, containing the large glass doors, so we have form and function. The inside of the restaurant is stunning, but I will save comment on that for another time.