A unique and somewhat weird restaurant is open in Southern California. The Magic Restroom Cafe‘s theme, as the name suggests, involves commodes, urinals and restrooms.
After reading about it in several media outlets (the soft opening got coverage most businesses could only dream of) we decided to drive to the City of Commerce and see for ourselves what the buzz is about.
Inspiration :The concept has has been successfully tried in China and Taiwan for several years so owner Yo Li thought it could work in Los Angeles too.
Ambiance: The commodes, urinals and plungers that greet you right at the entrance set the tone. The over-all look is school diner meets Alice in Wonderland restroom. Every wall is painted in a different bright color, and some walls feature mosaic tile with shower heads as decorations. The seating is mainly commodes–you choose whether to sit on them with the lid up or down–although there also are padded benches for those who prefer more conventional seating.
Food: The restaurant offers a small menu of Chinese/Taiwanese appetizers and entrees like Mango Katsu Fish and Fried Potato with fruit sauce, although Li hopes to expand the offerings. The real showstoppers are the desserts served in miniature porcelain commode-like dishes and specialized tea lattes. We had the Dong-po pork with rice and shrimp fried rice-neither of which were spicy or too greasy.Our son is not a huge Chinese food fan so he chose to skip dinner and go straight to dessert. He managed to polish off the entire commode of magic rainbow ice cream.
Kid friendly: Once your kids open up to the concept of dining in a ”restroom’ they probably will be willing to ‘go with the flow.’.Our son loved sitting on the toilet but was somewhat disappointed to discover the toilets are not really hooked to actual plumbing. The entrance area decorated with urinals and commodes provides kids with a fun place to play in. If your child is a picky eater, they do have spaghetti (served in a mini toilet bowl) on the menu and no kid I know has ever refused ice-cream for dessert!
In case you were wondering: Even though the restaurant theme may be toilets, the actual restrooms are nothing extraordinary. Our son thought it would be hilarious to have them resemble a kitchen or eating area and suggested it to our server who promised to pass his idea to the owner. We did, however, like the eco-friendly murals painted on the restroom walls advising patrons to conserve toilet paper and water.
Info: 18558 Gale Ave, No. 222, City of Industry, (626) 664-3766. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.