La Palapa offers fine Mexican food, a spunky decor and nightly entertainment, but needed to convey that more effectively. Their existing website was competent, but didn't convey La Palapa's flair.

Management hired an aggressive marketing copy writer, hoping to make their case quickly on the home page. They also needed pro photography to emphasize their colorful menu.

Finally, they wanted to wrap it all in a curious mix of web styles: darkish and sophisticated, but bright and cartoony. Oh, and some Flash might be nice...

Was that even possible?

Rebuilding this website was a challenge, balancing our design sense with some zany suggestions from La Palapa management and their marketing expert.

First, we created Flash elements for the home page. The stars twinkle and the neon pulses in the banner, while the food images fade in/out, giving visitors an enticing glimpse of La Palapa's menu.

Still, we kept our Flash "conservative", so the marketing text doesn't get ignored. Remember -- a website gets 60 seconds to make its point.

Next, we went with cartoony navigation (see those chiles?), and kept the layout loose. Finally, our photography highlighted their colorful food and entertainment, adding a professional touch that always helps online credibility.

We think the design works, and our clients agree.

The dinner menu turned out nicely...