« Back to Nominees

Paradisaea Restaurant – Historic Piano Building

Orchid Icon  Orchid
  Historic Preservation

Paradisaea Restaurant, Dodo Bird Donuts, and Tropical Punch lifestyle store, comprise a transformed former 1940s Mid-Century building originally designed by William Kesling.  The sweeping compound roofline, unique building geometry, and expansive glass storefront that anchors the bustling corner of La Jolla Blvd and Bird Rock Ave has been an iconic presence in the neighborhood since its construction.

Underutilized for several years and in much need of new life within the Bird Rock community, the successful collaboration between owner and team brings vibrancy to the neighborhood and enables new patrons to embrace the building and its architecture for another life cycle.  Updates included a complete overhaul of the buildings’ mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, plus exhaustive seismic and accessibility upgrades. Additionally, preserving the building’s unique exterior, restoring some of its wooden storefronts to their original configuration, and renovating the entire street corner with new sidewalks, landscape and seating area was paramount in achieving the balance of history and modernity in the overall project design.

Paradisaea stands as a shining example of preservation and adaptation: the retention and restoration of historic character defining features coupled with the modernization of the building for contemporary community use.

5680 La Jolla Boulevard

Project Owner/Developer:
Birdfood Restaurant Group / Piano Building Ventures

Contact Name/Email:
Zoe Kleinbub / zzaitze@aol.com

Project Architect/Designer:
Georgis & Mirgorodsky (Interiors & Design) / Arista Architects (Building Shell)

nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo nomination photo


  1. Melanie Blair

    Absolutely iconic update to the Bird Rock community, love the commitment to keeping the original Piano Building shape while modernizing the overall building – and adding an incredible restaurant to boot!

  2. Eric Kleinbub

    This building was falling apart and now looks brand new. It also activates the entire community of Bird Rock!

    • david shepherd

      Totally revitalize the corner

  3. Zoe Kleinbub

    We are so proud of this restoration, beautification and accomplishment, bringing newfound energy to the La Jolla area.

  4. William Georgis

    Georgis & Mirgorodsky is honored to have been involved with the restoration and reimagination of this iconic landmark

  5. Linda Daniels

    What a joy to have this new popular for all ages eatery with wonderful food and ambiance! We love this restaurant!

  6. Linda Daniels

    We love this new eatery in Bird Rock! It’s classy, edgy, sophisticated and a really fun place to dress up and gather with friends. Plus the food is incredible! Thank you! We’ll keep coming!

  7. Petra Ives

    A much-needed upgrade revived this corner while keeping its historic and iconic essence. Well done!

  8. Scott Murfey

    Great job Zoe, Eric, and your entire design team. You guys nailed it! Thank you for improving our neighborhood!

  9. Jenna

    One of our absolute favorite spots to dine in bird rock. The renovations and ambiance is incredible

  10. Tom Klopack

    Beautiful remodel of a Bird Rock landmark. Great location and execution.

  11. Christian Kleinbub

    Kudos to Paradisaea for making this wonderful building shine and protecting an architectural jewel.

  12. Alexis

    Paradisaea is a gem. The building design is well thought out and beautiful, and we love absolutely love the atmosphere.

  13. Ashley Martino

    It looks amazing, it’s beautiful.

  14. Don Reid

    Creative menu professionally prepared, presented and served in a beautiful ambiance.

  15. Lonnie

    Take six beautiful birds, design a space that displays the same brilliance, and you have Paradisaea. It’s a beautiful space only matched with the incredible food. WELL DONE!

  16. Jini

    Gorgeous setting with sophisticated food and cocktail options. A real winner!

  17. Amanda Gluibizzi

    I love the dedication paid to the design of the original building. Paradisaea respects the streamline qualities of the Kesling building and nods to them in clever ways, like the nesting rainbow curves of the “Punch” sign.

  18. Adrian

    Best place to have a good time with friends or family.

  19. Susan

    A breath of fresh air…a stunning addition to Bird Rock.

  20. Brian

    A beautiful and thoughtful design of an architectural gem!!!

  21. Kate

    So wonderful to see a mid-century gem restored to it’s former glory!

  22. Lara Lyon

    Gorgeous architecture and amazing ambience.

  23. Mary Z

    Love the colorful murals.

  24. Darrin

    Such a great transformation. So much better for the community.

  25. Brandi D Magana

    Amazing restoration. Great ambiance.

  26. Charles Wesley

    One of the best restaurants in all of Southern California

  27. Stephanie Carter

    Very impressive renovation!


    This property a gem!

  29. BDub

    This place fills me with joy – it transforms me to the Slim Aarons Day of Mediterranean Glam. I feel like I am on a yacht in the Cote de Azur yet it also invokes my favorite neighborhood vibes. This is what effortless, approachable, non-snooty glamour should look like.

    The food – DROOL WORTHY.

  30. Kathy

    Stunning space, both inside and out! Fabulous job of preserving the historic aspects of this building while updating it for a great vibe.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *