"Plants make everything better!" says Anna Lee Jew, Creative Director of the stylish (and delicious) Mister Jiu's restaurant in SF's Chinatown. We couldn't agree more! Houseplants are the perfect antidote to the seasonal blues, so we're taking a peek inside Mister Jiu's to get inspired by the lush indoor garden that Anna and her husband, chef Brandon Jew, created with plants from Flora Grubb.
Hoping to evoke the look and feel of a Chinese courtyard, Anna and Brandon wanted to fill their dining room with green. They worked with Clarke, our beloved houseplant expert, to choose an eclectic blend of plants to complement the playful elegance of the restaurant and its menu.
On Saturdays, Anna lovingly hauls her "plant babies" over to the windows for a little sunlit cocktail hour with a view. She moves the plants around the restaurant often in search of their happy places; some like it warmer, near the open kitchen, while others enjoy the dim and cozy bar. You can take a tip from Anna and rearrange your indoor garden once in a while to try out different light conditions and find the spots your plants like best. While you're at it, give the leaves a nice shower or wipe them with a damp cloth to help them breathe easy. The dry winter air can be hard on some houseplants!
The plants echo the warmth and luster of the original brass lotus flower chandeliers, which have shed their glow on celebrations for decades in the historic banquet space.
Our blush-hued Case Study planter is right at home on the vintage-fabulous mirrored bar in the lounge.
Anna and Brandon recently came to see us again to add some plant magic to the Moongate Lounge, their new event space. With its high ceilings and air of old SF grandeur, the Moongate is perfect for large high-drama plants like the Caryota (Fishtail Palm) or the Seuss-like Philodendron 'Selloum.' Anna's a fan of any and all Alocasias, which grow like crazy along the dirt road where she spent her Florida childhood. She pairs them with taller, more vertical plants to create dynamic, inviting vignettes.
Anna chose a pottery palette of neutral colors and clean lines—mostly black and white, with accents of terra-cotta and the occasional pop of pink.
Magical details like the spiral foliage of a Rex Begonia or the fiery orange bloom on a Guzmania add to the infectiously playful spirit of the restaurant, from dim sum to dessert.
Thanks for the inspiration, Anna and Brandon!
It's a jungle in here! Whether you want to fill a whole room or just add a few new plants to brighten things up, we've got what you need. Bring a few photos of your space, and we can help you choose just the right plants to thrive there.