Vast, over-designed restaurants tend to fall into the "theme" category, where more effort goes into animatronic pirate dioramas than on perfecting the chow. For an over-the-top spot with a theme of "food", try Sens, open Monday.
Sens inherited its suspiciously overwrought decor from the 225-seat, Vegas-style Monte Cristo, but instead of relying solely on the mammoth ceiling timbers, rock walls, and 'gator-skin chairs, Sens is focused on neutralizing the Monte's Achilles heel: the grub.
The menu's a collaboration by chefs from Slow Club, French Laundry and Evvia; their idea's to gather superlative West Coast ingredients, then inflect them with Southern Mediterranean exoticness -- a familiar-meets-foreign combo akin to the Beatles' Ravi Shankar phase, or Adam Ant's Burundi drumming period (succeeded by his "Wonderful" cashing-checks/losing-his-hair period).
This treatment results in dishes like Harissa-braised Oregon lamb chops and Wolfe Ranch Quail w/ merguez sauce and cockles, which sounds like a perverted clown's name, but don't worry -- they're actually a species of hermaphroditic mollusks.
Another Vegas-y holdover: two private banquet rooms, a 25-seater and a 150-seat monster -- the first ideally sized for a bachelor party, the second for a convention of disgruntled animatronic engineers, hell bent on covertly installing a lurching Blackbeard to guard Sens' men's room.