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Hoover Dam of Chinatown, Calling All Restaurant Design

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CHINATOWN: A tipster sends in a few pictures of the ongoing construction at the Lotus Garden project in Chinatown, along with this description: "There's a crazy scene underway with dozens of thick iron buttresses holding up the retaining walls about 4 floors tall. Looks like they're building a miniature Hoover Dam." Lotus Garden will eventually have 60 units of affordable housing. [Curbed Inbox]

UNITED STATES: The LA chapter of the American Institute of Architects has announced a call for entries for its eighth annual Restaurant Design Awards. They're looking for submissions from anywhere in the US in the following categories: restaurants, cafes/bars, and lounges/nightclubs. All projects must have been completed in the past four years--so yes, Perch in Downtown LA is sure to get a nomination. According to the AIA/LA website, "Evaluations will be based on function, ambience and visual impact," but there will also be a popularity contest People's Choice Award in each category. Entries are due by April 2, 2012. [AIA/LA]