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Overwrought (and over-written) reviews of the restrooms of restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area


Table and Throne

The Loring Cafe

Location:  Uptown Oakland

Yelp says:  4 stars, 8 reviews

Table

Food quality:  I enjoyed the orcchiette and the pumpkin tart.  Both were simple, elegant and well-prepared.

Portion size:  It was relatively small bowl of pasta and a relatively large tart.

Presentation:  Lovely.  My pasta arrived on delicate, vintage, European porcelain.

Restaurant Atmosphere:  The Loring Cafe is notably and pleasantly odd.  It’s worth a visit just to take it all in. They describe themselves as “Bohemian dining” and I don’t think that’s too far off.  I’d probably add keywords like: European, gypsy, theatrical, baroque and romantic to that list.  It’s definitely a good date restaurant.

Service:  The service was pretty good, up until it was time to pay the bill.  Then the waitress just disappeared.  Granted, that was at 9:45, 15 minutes after the stated closing time.  So I only kinda blame her.  But I was still annoyed.

Table rating:  My restaurant review for the Loring Cafe charts at a solid 3.5 stars.  

Throne

Size: Pleasantly spacious.

Decor:  Spectacular.   If Gaudi designed a bathroom for a wealthy, Spanish version of Bilbo Baggins, this would be it. The low ebony toilet and matching end table is a spectacle unto itself.  The gold and cream floor tiles are inspired. Sweeping curves of glossy brick transform the room into something non-linear and otherworldly. The gold gilt floor mirror added to the perception of space and literally “crowned” the long list of reasons to love this bathroom. Two minor downsides only: 1)  The spare roll of toilet paper was set - cavalierly - on a rocky shelf and looked a little tacky.  2) The toilet paper dispenser was an iron pipe, set into the wall.  Out of sync with the high class and whimsical nature of the space.

Temperature:  I was so taken with this restroom, I didn’t even notice.

Cleanliness:  Excellent.

Toilet paper:  Adequate, but two-ply would have really secured this restroom’s place in my all-time-best list.

Music:  None.  Honestly, I can’t imagine what they would have played.  Some fast and energetic gypsy music?  Some italian experimental post-punk stoner rock, maybe?  In my head it’s Tom Waits playing accordion and singing with Blonde Redhead as the backup band.

Other:  The sink is outside the bathroom, in some kind of bizarre communal hand washing space.  Like a cross between a UFO and a chemistry lab bio-hazard sink.   It was amazing and I’ve never seen anything like it or quite so out of place.

Throne rating: My restroom review for the Loring Cafe in Oakland, CA arrives at a majestic 4.5 stars.  That automatically puts it on my short list of best restaurant restrooms in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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