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Restroom Report

  1. Restroom Report
    Restaurant Sells Urinals Possibly Used by Mick JaggerYou could have loos like Jagger.
  2. Restroom Report
    At Kowloon, Love Really StinksKowloon’s flush with romance.
  3. Restroom Report
    Mommy, What Are the Naked Ladies Doing?If Fatty Crab UWS is a kid-friendly restaurant, why is there porn all over the bathroom walls?
  4. Restroom Report
    Restroom Attendants Are BACK at BalthazarGood to see SOMEONE has thought better of downsizing in this economy.
  5. Awards
    Pissing ContestBecause there’s no Beard medal for bathrooms, there’s the America’s Best Restroom Awards.
  6. Restroom Report
    Meet Me in the BathroomWarning: Metromix’s bathroom hook-up stories range from dubious to disgusting.
  7. Restroom Report
    No Hope Without SoapA blog documents ‘Employees Must Wash Hands’ signs. It’s the little things.
  8. Restroom Report
    Need a Good Bathroom? Grub Street’s Guide to Loos You Can UseFor over a year, we tested the theory that a restaurant is only as good as its restroom by scouring the city for notable loos, ranking them with the unforgiving rigor of our five-star rating system. Always searching for the straight poop, we visited certain facilities months before their restaurants had even opened (“I didn’t know you lurked around toilets,” Park Chinois’ dismayed publicist told us), and fell in love with old favorites all over again. In these dark rooms we found jack-o-lanterns, volumes of existentialist literature, live fish, warnings against cocaine peddling, waterfalls, pachinko machines, S&M gear, and the city’s most expensive toilet. The only thing we missed was Larry Craig. We hope you enjoy the resulting compendium of loos you can use. Please put your own recommendations in the comments.
  9. Restroom Report
    The Toilet at Ninja: Toto-ly Awesome! Rancho Jubilee’s restrooms aren’t the only cave-themed ones. There are La Caverna’s, for instance. But for swankier digs, it’s necessary to visit Ninja. The theme restaurant’s menu is sometimes unsuccessfully derivative — the black cod doesn’t measure up to Nobu’s a few doors down — but when we discovered they’ve recently installed an automatic Toto toilet in the handicap WC, we didn’t give two shits that Morimoto did it first. These actually work!
  10. Restroom Report
    Where Are the Restrooms at wd~50? No, Seriously — Where? It’s no secret that wd~50’s bathrooms are as byzantine as its food. Even The New Yorker’s reviewer Kevin Conley wasn’t smart enough to figure them out: “It can take minutes to realize that you have to push the wall — a Mensa-test experience so disconcerting that one diner wound up down the hall in a storeroom.” Having seen our share of hidden doors (Pukk and 44, for starters), we knew we’d be okay when we went downstairs to confront the beast.
  11. Restroom Report
    Packing Heat Inside the Letrina of Rancho Jubilee If you’ve been to Rancho Jubilee, the totally coco-loco Dominican restaurant in the wilds of Elmhurst that’s fashioned after an over-the-top beach hut (thatch roofing, cavelike plaster ceilings, stuffed turkeys and roosters, waiters in tropical shirts), it’s probably because you had five hours to kill before a flight out of La Guardia a few blocks away and you thought you might as well spend it drinking tequila from a coconut, and then a pineapple, and then a cantaloupe, and then a flaming volcano. Does it beat drinking at the airport bar? Oh, yes. And do the bathrooms beat the ones near Gate 14? Claro que si, papi!
  12. Restroom Report
    Fun in P.J. Clarke’s BathroomSome things are sacred, and old-fashioned urinals are one of them. Unfortunately, outside of ones that are imported from France, the pickings are slim: You have the ones at Old Town Bar, McSorley’s, and Foley’s (the latter were lifted from the Waldorf-Astoria), but are you really going to eat at those places? When we want a nibble and a dribble, we go for a burger at one of Nat King Cole’s favorite spots, P.J. Clarke’s.
  13. Restroom Report
    Visiting the Pachinko Parlors at Tao Last week we took a trip to the Far East to hit the loos at Sapa. Now let’s travel even farther east and a little bit north (Madison Avenue at 55th Street!) to Tao, an eatery that’s so authentically Pan-Asian it boasts an enormous Buddha. But then again, so does every other restaurant in town. So how is Tao to distinguish itself from Megu, Buddakan, Buddha Bar, and the rest of them? Via its restrooms, of course!
  14. Restroom Report
    Using the Underground Crappa at SapaIf you’re one of the swarms of Marc Jacobs–toting girls who flood into Sapa like a Vietnamese monsoon after a long day of arranging “desk-sides,” you already know this, but the place has a great happy hour from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: $5 specialty cocktails and martinis (and generous ones at that) mean you’ll be sloshed by nightfall. So be careful not to topple over in those Jimmy Choos when you descend the steps, flanked by gauze-covered lightbulbs, into the restrooms.
  15. Restroom Report
    Better Bathrooms: Bette or Butter?Consonant rhyme isn’t the only thing Bette and Butter have in common: They’re both owned by impresarios known to cater to the Olsen twins (Amy Sacco and Richie Akiva, respectively); they both have organic, clubby interiors with big murals; and let’s face it, they’re both frequented by the sort of night creatures who know the value of a nice, private bathroom. So just how are those powder rooms?
  16. Restroom Report
    Admiring the Geishas in Megu’s Loo Before Morimoto, before Buddakan, before Buddha Bar, before Megu Midtown, there was — well — Megu. Sure its star has faded (there was that sexual-harassment suit and such), but no one can argue that the $6 million interior isn’t still fresh — just like the toro tartare! Look at the mirrored diorama, outside the restroom, that reflects an Oriental lamp and a flower display into infinity: Way cooler than Morimoto’s mirror installation, right? But what about the rest of the restrooms?
  17. Restroom Report
    Availing Ourselves of Danny Meyer’s Hospeetality Last week we noted that the once cutting-edge bathrooms of Brasserie were looking quite dull, but on the other side of 53rd Street is MoMA, a place that cultivates the sort of modernism that stands the test of time. Just step into the sexy lighting of the restrooms tucked behind the giant photomural in its ever-elegant eatery, the Modern.
  18. Restroom Report
    Making Sure Not to Get Caught on Camera at Brasserie Eateries that get modernist makeovers run the risk of feeling painfully dated after a few years. Take Brasserie. Descending the illuminated glass staircase into the dining room as monitors over the gel bar stools broadcast your grand entry doesn’t carry quite the same thrill these days (not least because the monitors are mostly static now). Seven years on, Brasserie is starting to look a Park Avenue dame wearing Comme des Garçons from five seasons ago. But how are the loos holding up?
  19. Restroom Report
    Reflecting on the Thai Toilets of Pukk and Peep It’s no secret that Thais are fly — Thai restaurants are generally outfitted with more bells and whistles than Santa Claus directing traffic. The interior design is especially crispy in the bathrooms (see Sea), and the ones at sister eateries Pukk and Peep are no exception. We visited them both for some very chic leaks.
  20. Restroom Report
    Unzipping Our Flies at FR.OG Philip Kirsh and Didier Virot probably fancied themselves the Mac to Balthazar’s PC when they opened up their new place FR.OG just a hop away from the grand ol’ dame. Still, they knew that a slick design scheme and cutesy punctuation wouldn’t cut it: Had they gone up against the ’Zar without proper hardware — meaning, the restrooms — they would’ve been up shit’s creek. But we can assure you the bathrooms won’t be the reason if this place croaks.
  21. Restroom Report
    Breaking the Code of Silence about PDT’s WCs We figured the new cocktail speakeasy next to Crif Dogs would have remarkable restrooms. After all, its name is PDT (Please Don’t Tell) and we’ve always had that same policy when it comes to East Village loos — you’ll certainly never hear our stories about the ones at Lit circa 2002. At least, not until you buy us a few El Diablos at this decidedly more civilized boîte. In which case, like the Strokes song goes, meet us in the bathroom.
  22. Restroom Report
    The Lovely Lavies of Moto and Smith and Mills There are restaurants we love and then there are restaurants we’re in love with — Moto has been in the latter category ever since we had our first pint of Corsendonk there. Among its myriad charms is its WC. But last week, when we visited Smith and Mills, we discovered that our heart has room for more than one restroom — and somehow we don’t feel like we’re cheating. After all, Moto’s owner John McCormick had a hand in designing Smith and Mills, so these lovely lavatories are practically sisters. Hot!
  23. Restroom Report
    Wild Salmon: The End-All and Pee-All? Last week we continued our restro-spective of Jeffrey Chodorow’s tinklers with a look at Ono. We half-expected Chodorow’s blog to carp over our five-star review, but no — his latest entry shows that the man is still pissed off, this time at Adam Platt, whom he considers a piss-poor reviewer for handing a measly star to Wild Salmon. This got us to wondering about the restaurant’s facilities.
  24. Restroom Report
    Ono, I Really Have to Go!Now that we’ve brought you the steaming poop on Keith McNally’s loos, we can’t help but wonder — who are the other restroom-auteurs? The titans who dream up a new restaurant and imagine themselves walking into its grand opening on a red carpet of double-ply? There is one such man: Mr. Jeffrey Chodorow. When we praised his Kobe Club restrooms last week, we thought the tiles looked familiar — indeed they’re a holdover from Ono, also designed by “Chodobro” Jeffrey Beers. Shall we visit what may be their finest crossing of creative swords?
  25. Restroom Report
    Bathroom Beef: Quality Meats vs. Kobe Club On limo-lined 58th Street, two nouveau steakhouses face each other in a bizarre game of Spy vs. Spy. The white spy: bright, cheery Quality Meats of the Wollensky empire, designed by the whiz kids at AvroKO. The black spy: Chodorow’s infamous Kobe Club, a noirish trip that resembles a Tarantino stage set. Each has its bag of trick s— QM’s meat-hook chandeliers! KC’s samurai swords!— but the nukes in their arsenals are, of course, the restrooms. After you’ve finished a 64-ounce growler of Quality beer or a $225 bowl of Kobe punch, you’re going to need to use ‘em. So let’s take a look.
  26. Restroom Report
    Keith McNally: A Restro-spective As we noted when we toured the restrooms at Morandi, Keith McNally has pissed away a great deal of money to make his restaurant lavatories the gold standard. When Morandi failed to hit the mark, we were truly bummed, so to restore our faith in the master (and to make sure we weren’t remembering his previous works through Clorox-colored glasses), we decided to embark on an epic stall crawl of McNally’s previous loos, from Pravda’s Commie commodes to (pardon our French) the shitters at Schiller’s. Come flush with us.
  27. Restroom Report
    Revisiting the Hallowed Stalls at Bar 89 Unless you’ve blocked out your raver phase, you probably remember Fun, the club where video feeds allowed the boys to spy on the girls’ room and vice versa. Those were the days when a restroom that makes you go “(p)oo-la-la!” could make or break a nightspot, and the most celebrated holdover from that era is Bar 89, a.k.a. “that place in Soho with the cool bathrooms.” Obviously, we don’t go there much and we’re guessing you don’t either, since the once novel aspects of the place’s décor have been dampened by almost a decade of beer funk. So how exactly have the restrooms held up?
  28. Restroom Report
    E.U.’s Loos: Admiring the Work of Our Favorite Whiz Kids When it comes to designing bathrooms, the guys at AvroKo are the bomb. We still have the bars of soap we pocketed as souvenirs of our visit to Public. So what about the design firm’s latest spot? As you’ll recall, European Union had to wait a while for its wine and beer license, presumably because residents of 4th Street were afraid that drunken patrons would end up peeing on their stoops. Poppycock! Who would do such a thing with facilities like these in house?
  29. Restroom Report
    Gearing Up for the Film Festival at Tribeca Grand’s Church Lounge Whether you’re going to the Tribeca Grand for its brunch (as of last week, the place screens movies for kids so you can get them out of your hair while gulping Bellinis), for top-notch D.J.’s like Riton and Trevor Jackson, or for the bevy of Tribeca Film Festival after-parties that’ll be there next week, you’ll want to know about the restrooms. The spacious facilities under the Church Lounge may not have LCD screens like those inside the hotel’s rooms, but as our investigation reveals, they’re still some of the swankiest in the city.
  30. Restroom Report
    Tippling and Tinkling at the Tasting Room Café The Tasting Room may have moved to bigger digs, but its venerable espresso machine remains at its old location, which was rechristened the Tasting Room Wine Bar & Café in February. It’s unlikely that the best espresso in the city will do Starbucks-style damage, but just in case, we sussed out the restrooms.
  31. Restroom Report
    Using the Tank (the Fish Tank, That Is) at 128 BilliardsWe’ve seen many items used as restroom décor — everything from S&M gear to Sartre tomes. But we had never encountered live creatures used as wallpaper until we entered 128 Billiards, an obscure pool joint with a tropical-themed front room that gives the Rainforest Café a run for its money. True, this is Chinatown, where you can buy pet turtles on the sidewalk and piranhas at more than one aquarium supply shop, but an aquarium in the wall?
  32. Restroom Report
    Mirrors, Mirrors in the Stall at Umberto’s Clam HouseUmberto’s Clam House is best known as the place where mobster Crazy Joe Gallo was gunned down while eating scungilli with clam sauce; these days the pasta mill is a couple of blocks away from its original location and the only thing likely to kill you is the massive plate of butter-bombed linguine Alfredo (though just as cheesy maritime décor may well blind you). Still, after eating with our backs to the wall we decided to check out the restrooms in order to see a side of New York City to which only tourists are, well, privy.
  33. Restroom Report
    A Visit to the Gastropublic Restrooms at Inn LW12thWe’ve already remarked that Jeffrey Jah seems determined to make his new bi-level “gastropub,” the Inn LW12, the meatpacking district’s own little Spotted Pig. The place’s poutine hasn’t quite become the new gnudi, but we still wondered whether the trapping-and-fishing kitsch extended into the bathroom. Could Jah beat the super-cheesiness of the flower paintings that grace the Spotted Pig’s facilities?
  34. Restroom Report
    Basking in the Casks: Sakagura’s Five-Star Toilets Though we’re suckers for that new-bathroom smell (aah, the leather at Amalia, the pine at Morandi), every now and then we get the sudden urge to revisit those restrooms that really raised the watermark. One such classic lies deep in the bowels of a midtown office building, immediately beyond the hidden entry of perennial sake spot Sakagura.
  35. Restroom Report
    Bathrooms at Dream Hotel’s Amalia: Not for PETA Members to Pee InA few months ago we sneaked you a peek of the renderings for Amalia, printing Über-designer Steve Lewis’s shopping list along with them. The Dream Hotel’s newly opened restaurant sticks pretty much to plan. Silk chinoiserie wallpaper? Check. Wall of walnut pirolettes? Check. What the list didn’t shed light on, though, was the restroom, so after ordering some rosemary-lemon thyme “eau de vie” (French for “$12 shot of vodka”) off the dinner and drinks menu, we descended the “floating staircase” into the raw brick area that opens March 22 as the D’Or lounge.
  36. Restroom Report
    Do Morandi’s Restrooms Live Up to the Rest of McNally’s?As far as restrooms go, Keith McNally’s are the gold standard. The man has pissed away a great deal of money importing gigantic urinals and sinks (as Schiller’s barkeep Corey Lima told us, boozed-up patrons often mistake one for the other), and his restroom lounges are bigger (and have nicer furniture) than certain apartments we’ve lived in. When he built the bathrooms at his new venture Morandi, he must’ve known everyone was watching. Did he suffer from performance anxiety?
  37. Restroom Report
    Going for Gold in the Gilt RestroomsFirst Le Cirque 2000 was out at the over-the-top opulent Palace Hotel and Gilt was in; then foam fiend Paul Liebrant was out, along with his wallet-busting lunches, and the more sedate Christopher Lee was in. We wondered how the bathrooms were surviving the changes (had the toilets been sold on eBay along with the bar?), so we slipped into the surprisingly shabby stairwell leading to a carpeted hallway.
  38. Restroom Report
    Flushing at Falai’s New Nolita CaféClinton Street hotspot Falai recently opened a Nolita café, because apparently Italio-philes needed a place to rest their weary Pradas and take in the Taleggio after a day of shopping at Amarcord across the street. Like its predecessor, Caffe Falai is every bit as antique-meets-modern (and blanketed in white) as a stage set from A Clockwork Orange. Wondering whether the bathrooms were fit for a droog, we stepped into the sliding door that encloses a tiny sink anteroom, and, behind another door, found one of the smallest privvies to which we’ve ever been privy.
  39. Restroom Report
    Hanging in the Box’s S&M RestroomsDuring the year and a half Simon Hammerstein spent converting a former abattoir (and later, sign factory) into his dinner theater the Box, he hauled in an imposing set of doors from an insane asylum using his pimpmobile. We suspected the restroom décor would be similarly eccentric, and sure enough, the door to the wheelchair-accessible ground-floor WC comes from an old public schoolhouse. Then again, we’ve seen that before. The real action lay on the other side of the portals found down a narrow staircase, and at the end of the same sconce-lit hallway that leads to dressing rooms intended for circus freaks, S&M performers, and acrobats — whenever the place finally opens, that is.
  40. Restroom Report
    Read Poe on the Pot at Zucco: Le French Diner With just twenty seats (most wedged between the bar and a wall), Zucco: Le French Diner is one of the most lilliputian eateries in the city. Once we located the bathroom jammed in the back corner next to a prep table — and tapped on the cook’s shoulder so he could make room for us to open the door — we weren’t surprised to find that it’s also tres petite. Thankfully, what the loo lacks in size, it makes up for with Godardian flair.
  41. Back of the House
    Trans Fats Versus Razor Blades; ‘Times’ Inspired by Our RestroomBruni ponders bathrooms, giving a shout-out to Grub Street’s Restroom Report; apparently the Sultan had a pretty nasty encounter with the ones at Gordon Ramsay. [NYT] Hamptons officials loosen up and consider lifting the music ban in restaurants — if there’s very tight regulation of it. [NYP] E! wrap-up on the Top Chef finale, including a plate-by-plate account of the competition’s Last Supper, which is more interesting, to us anyway, than whether Ilan got his money and new oven. [E!] Related: Ilan Won, Yes, But What Does It All Mean?
  42. Restroom Report
    Tinkling at Tasca, the Latest Tapas BarWhen we heard that new West Village tapas bar Tasca professed to have an interior design worthy of Gaudi (or, er, Gaudy, as the press release has it), we knew we had to feast our eyes on colorful floor tiles, the teardrop lights over the tile bar, and most importantly, those handsome barrels of sangria. It turned out to be a worthy backdrop for seducing a date with stories of a recent trip to Barcelona, but it’s not exactly the Sagrada Familia. So, did the restrooms, at least, live up to the master?
  43. Restroom Report
    Do the Restrooms at Death & Co. Have a Pot to Piss In?We’re not saying that cocktail lounge Death & Co. is the new Milk and Honey (for one, they’re willing to make you a Sex on the Beach, albeit a very highfalutin one), but there are certain undeniable similarities: the curtained, unmarked entry; uniformed barkeeps deploying squeezed juices and an arsenal of bitters; jazz on the speakers. We couldn’t help but wonder, then, whether the bathrooms lived up to the notorious ones at Sasha Petraske’s joint. Camera in hand, we peeled ourselves away from our top-shelf mescal to find out.
  44. Restroom Report
    Secret Stalls and Wacky Waterfalls at 44We didn’t think it got much more futuristic than the automated Japanese toilets at Morimoto, but then we heard of a stainless steel urinal that triggers a waterfall when you step up to bat. We were so intrigued that we ordered a $15 mint julep at the Royalton hotel’s 44 bar and waited until the coast was clear. Were these facilities worthy of being showered with praise?
  45. Restroom Report
    Morimoto’s TOTO Toilets: The Iron Chef Would Be Flush With EmbarrassmentWhen Gridskipper bestowed the honor of Best Toilet of 2006 on Morimoto’s newfangled flushers, the curmudgeon in us wondered, Do all the bells and whistles stand up to the porcelain palaces of yore? Rest assured, as soon as we entered Pritzker-winning architect Tadao Ando’s loos, we made a discovery that was as dizzying as a swirling-cyclone rim wash.
  46. Restroom Report
    Public’s Award-Winning RestroomsIt’s not every restroom that wins a James Beard Award, but design firm AvroKO clinched one when they remodeled a former warehouse in the style of a fifties municipal building, using mechanized pullies, a card catalog, and post office boxes–cum–bottle holders. The result was Public. We thought the restaurant’s new lounge, the Monday Room, was a good enough excuse to drop in, No. 2 pencils sharpened, and ponder those award-winning loos.
  47. Restroom Report
    Inside the Landmarked Lavatories of the Four Seasons According to Adam Platt, the venerable Four Seasons Restaurant contains the city’s greatest dining room (the restaurant’s interior is actually landmarked). We wondered whether the restrooms measured up — and who gets the nicer facilities, the men or the ladies. All shall be revealed.
  48. Restroom Report
    Loos Fit for a ‘Luchador’: La Esquina’s Restrooms Reassessed As Serge Becker prepares to lift the curtain on his Wild West saloon–cum–dinner theater, the Box, we thought we’d check in on his old joint, La Esquina. Sure, the subterranean cavern still gets its share of taco-nibbling waifs, but have the luchador-themed restrooms withstood the test of time, especially after Nacho Libre copped their look?
  49. Restroom Report
    Heads Up: Park Chinois’s Restrooms, Ready in January or FebruaryAlan Yau’s restaurant-to-be in the Gramercy Park Hotel is now poised to open in late January or early February, or so a beleaguered manager told us. In the meantime, private-partygoers have gotten a look at the surprisingly demure and loungy L-shaped room where the eatery will be located (provided the Chinese chefs’ visas come through). At the Svedka-sponsored event featuring “erotic readers” Jay McInerney and Candace Bushnell, we scoped out the one area that probably won’t change much before the place opens: the restrooms.
  50. Restroom Report
    London-Style Loos Are CallingWhen we heard that Gordon Ramsay’s new joint was designed by David Collins, the man behind London’s Nobu Berkeley and J Sheekey, we suspected the restrooms would be as high-flying as the 80-chef kitchen. Gord has threatened to ban anyone who photographs the food, but we chanced taking a camera into the loos.
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