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Jo’s Modern Thai

A first-time restaurant owner envisioned a fresh, modern space that reflected his Bay Area hometown and his Thai heritage.

A modern oasis in the middle of an up-and-coming Oakland neighborhood, Jo’s is owner Kai Salee’s deeply personal Thai restaurant. Steering clear of cliche, we wanted to create something as vibrant and bold as the chile-laced menu. Color was key. Deep-sea color blocking and pops of foam green were juxtaposed with locally sourced, handmade wallpaper designed with sweeping plum palm fronds. Globe pendant lights and tabletops made of terrazzo—a ubiquitous finish in 1960’s Northern California—kept the design anchored in mid-century urbanism while rattan bar stools and a hidden back patio evoke a tropical vibe recreated from our own travels to Thailand.

Full Service Dining
Oakland, CA


  • Interior design
  • Custom furniture design build
  • Branding and graphic design
  • Procurement


— Curved back bar to soften a square space

— Custom neon monkey

— Bar kick of Zellige tile


“Kao Salee, whose family has long owned Thai restaurants, is one of our favorite types of clients to work with—someone with a strong story and point of view.”