First US toilet-themed restaurant opens in Los Angeles
A restaurant billed as America's first toilet-themed eatery has opened in Los Angeles - and is packing in diners after a wave of free publicity for the concept, imported from Taiwan.
The Magic Restroom restaurant, where customers sit on ceramic bathroom bowls and eat from toilet-shaped tableware, did brisk business on its first fully open weekend.
Some might wonder who would want to eat surrounded by reminders of where the food ends up. But the grand opening was by all accounts a huge success, fuelled by media interest from around the world.
"Business for the past couple of days has been very good. It's always a full house with customers waiting in the lobby," said waiter Daniel Chyan as diners bustled around him. "The food we serve here is actually normal, it's typical Taiwanese food, like beef stew noodle for example," he added.
The toilet theme extends, perhaps inevitably, to the menu, with dishes including "black poop" (chocolate sundae), "smells-like-poop" (braised pork over rice) and "bloody number two" (vanilla and strawberry sundae).
A random poll of customers on the opening weekend suggested the restaurant has the right ingredients for success.
Denesse Elias said her chicken was served in a urinal while a shrimp rice order came in a small toilet. "It was kind of weird at first eating from them," she said. "But the food was really good, so it didn't make a difference."
Tania Moore added: "I was like ... Magic Restroom Cafe? What is that? And we walked in and there just were toilets everywhere. It was really interesting. It was cool."
Frenchwoman Marjorie Decriem, who lives in Los Angeles, said the food was very well presented. "It's in little toilets, so it's quite funny," she said.
"You have to choose your dishes carefully because some are more appetising than others. But the food is very good. I think we will return with friends because it really is a place to discover."
On its Facebook page, the Magic Restroom had 1,100 "likes" by Monday, while some 700 people were talking about the restaurant. But not everyone is convinced. "What a disgusting theme for a restaurant," wrote Celia Yatawara.