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book reviews: Rustic Arts & Crafts, part I

Greene House in Phoenix

This is still confusing me. Sam Fox, a seemingly-misguided but otherwise quite succesful restauranteur in Phoenix, has opened the Greene House at that city's Kierland Commons mall. The restaurant serves food somehow influenced by the Craftsman ideal, and I would hope & expect that the interior lives up to its name. Due to its location in a mall, however nice that mall may be, I have doubts that it could possibly be anything that wouldn't bemuse the Greenes themselves. Certainly the food is not something that the brothers would have had access to - green papaya chilled pink snapper, curried pistachios with goat cheese and beets, and mini Kobe beef sliders weren't very popular in Pasadena in the '20s, I don't think, although perhaps they would have been, had they been available.

I can't criticise the food - in fact, I don't have any reason to think that it's anything but excellent (even given the mall location), but I can criticise the logo. A late '90s modernist typeface and a logotype more reminiscent of a poor understanding of late-period Frank Lloyd Wright stained-glass design and Seccessionist typography is not necessarily the best signifier for a restaurant offering a paean to Greene & Greene. I'm a graphic designer and I would never, ever expect a client to accept something as shoddy as that, but again, this is no reflection on the food.