What's the one thing that makes a restaurant great? Is it something as simple as, well, the food? Or is it something a little more subtle than that? Is it a matter of the atmosphere--of the music, the colors, or the d├ęcor? Is it the service? Or is it the very idea behind the place, the concept that makes it what it is, that gives it an identity all its own?

If you answered yes to any of the above, well, you're wrong. But then, it's something of a trick question--in truth, there is no one thing that makes a great restaurant great. It is, rather, all of these things working in tandem--a concoction of flavor and style that separates a truly memorable dining experience from a merely serviceable one. So needless to say, the responsibilities that come with designing a restaurant are numerous, because in essence, you have to juggle all these many factors.

And some restaurant designers are more cut out for it than others. You're probably aware that many new restaurants fail within their first year, while you're doubtless also aware that a few talented, creative, and business-savvy individuals end up making monstrous success in the restaurant game. Anton Posniak falls into this latter camp. A true artist of restaurant design, he is a man who has truly mastered the art of balancing all these different components, and as a result his numerous restaurants are across-the-board hits throughout California.

Indeed, Anton Posniak is, on one hand, a designer who knows that great food is only the first step. That's why everything else about his restaurants tends to be memorable--be it the poolside, island retreat feel of The Backyard; the cutting-edge Zen/techno fusion of Tengu; or even the casual elegance of Blanca. Anton Posniak puts a great deal of foresight into ensuring that diners at his restaurant will have a meal experience that's memorable on every level--not just for the food itself.

That said, he also knows that a winning design is nothing without quality food to back it. That's why every one of his restaurants serves the most delicious and imaginative of dishes, all made with farm-to-table fresh ingredients. It's also why his customers tend to keep coming back for more--the combination of a wonderful meal and an immersive, one-of-a-kind dining experience is simply too intoxicating to only savor one time.

Creativity isn't something that can be taught; sure, you can show someone all the right techniques for painting, or instruct them on how to play all the right notes on a musical instrument, but at the end of the day, you can't implant creative ideas into their head if they don't already have the instincts for it. That's the difference between an artist and a craftsman--and it's also why a lot of new restaurants tend to fail.

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