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Steamboat Magazine

East Meets West

03/21/2015 08:30AM ● By Christina Freeman

The contemporary bar at Yama in Torian Plaza. Photo by David Patterson.

By Suzi Mitchell

Cocktail hour just got a little more sophisticated in Torian Plaza. It's not just the sushi that has diners talking at Yama, which opened its doors last December.

Photo by David Patterson.

 Yama's exquisite yet simple décor is a meticulous blend of modern Japanese style, fused with the demands of Steamboat Springs' activity-hungry clientele. Sharing the vision for a contemporary look that mixed organic materials and light were the creative minds of Dimension Fine Home’s design/build duo of Susse Budde and Corey Larsen, along with c.v. bistro and Low Country Kitchen owners' Katy and Brian Vaughn and Steamboat Architectural Associates’ Bill Rangitsch. Working with a small footprint, every inch of the minute space was used, fashioned by Steamboat's most talented craftspeople.

A state-of-the art moveable steel bar shelving structure was custom made by Corey Larsen. Set against giant mirrors, light can be reflected to add a greater sense of space.

Creating a noteworthy statement over the dining area are 13 intricately cut translucent sphere lights hung in clusters. Illuminating the bar is a row of pendant lights chosen for their resemblance to the Japanese ice cream desert, mochi.

Photo by David Patterson.


The pale gray, concrete-look American clay walls surrounding the bar, were hand-troweled by local artist Julie Andersen. Eliminating the need for additional artwork, shadows created by the ornate lighting form intricate patterns enhancing the finished look. Complementing the banquette wall, handwoven bamboo shoot wallpaper adds another dimension.

Cognizant of ski boot wearing-clientele in winter months, the soft oak whitewashed flooring is, in fact, durable porcelain tile. White oak used on the facing of the sushi bar, main bar and hostess stand was skip-planed to accommodate inevitable denting.

Black Eames chairs on chrome legs mix mid-century modern with the uber-trendy entryway seating area. An oversize black pebble table sits between wooden drum-like stools, complementing the earthy feel of the natural-colored Caesar stone countertops. 

Photo by David Patterson.