Hospitality visionaries Mark and Jonnie Houston of Houston Hospitality, in collaboration with Mitchell Hochberg of Lightstone, recently unveiled a new dining and entertainment concept in downtown Los Angeles.
Level 8—occupying the entire eighth floor of Marriott’s recently opened, dual-branded Moxy/AC hotel—spans 30,000 square feet, blending food, entertainment, and nightlife into one immersive experience. Houston Hospitality joined forces with Lightstone’s in-house design studio, Undisclosable, and Basile Studio to bring the design concept to life.
The Level 8 journey commences at Mr. Wanderlust, a piano bar and jazz lounge named after its adventurous fictional founder. Guests are welcomed into a library adorned with intricate wood paneling, housing souvenirs that echo Mr. Wanderlust’s global travels. Arialists swing from a chandelier above the dark oak host stand. Beyond a hidden passageway, serpentine booths upholstered in patterned fabrics and oak-detailed walls encircle a performance stage.
From Mr. Wanderlust, two secret speakeasy entrances lead to restaurants Lucky Mizu and Maison Kasai. Centered around a u-shaped dining bar with blue and green upholstered stools, Lucky Mizu offers an interactive dining option. The eatery also includes booth seating under arched trellises wrapped with cherry blossoms, and decorative details like circular infinity mirrors depicting thousands of butterflies and a wall adorned with 777 traditional golden “lucky cat” figurines. Above the bar, on a platform, musicians perform on a 40-foot earth harp that stretches diagonally across the length of the room.
Maison Kasai, meaning “House of Fire”, is accessible via a passageway that unveils a French-Japanese teppanyaki. The walls of the restaurant are adorned with rich, warm wood tones, graced with starburst patterns that create a three-dimensional effect, as well as custom-designed Japanese Art Deco wallpaper, envisioned by artist Candice Kaye, with a geometric collage of abstracted faces and silhouettes.
Level 8’s South American eatery, Qué Barbaro, is reminiscent of a private garden oasis with tropical-toned dining booths, jungle wildlife-motif wallpaper, wood paneling, colorful tiles, and custom light fixtures resembling wooden trellises adorned with plants. The restaurant spills out onto Golden Hour, a rooftop pool deck that evokes the spirit of Miami and Copacabana with a vibrant sunset color palette of oranges and pinks. A carousel bar with rotating chandeliers and golden pineapples takes centerstage as the sun sets, transforming the space into an outdoor lounge with DJs and live entertainment.
Out on the expansive outdoor terrace is the Brown Sheep, which is modeled after a classic food truck. Guests can enjoy street-style eats surrounded by Talavera tiles, vibrant wood-and-leather Equipale chairs, and furniture upholstered in pink-, orange-, green-, and blue-striped fabrics.
Also on the terrace, behind a wall of pink bougainvillea, is champagne and oyster bar Mother of Pearl from Chef Joshua Gil. Its design takes inspiration from Spanish Colonial gazebos, complete with wrought iron and glass overhang, hand-troweled stucco, cobalt blue-bordered Talavera tile, and blue, yellow, and white florals.
Finally, Sinners y Santos celebrates El Santo, the revered Mexican luchador and folk hero. Beginning with a “confessional booth,” the space was imagined as a repurposed 19th-century cathedral featuring Venetian plaster walls, original brick accents, wrought iron chandeliers, a stained-glass bar, and distressed oak millwork. A DJ booth is disguised as a pipe organ tucked inside arched, barrel-vaulted ceilings.