Some judge a restaurant by its bathrooms, and with good reason. The worst toilet can be a sad, forgettable, or grossed out experience. But a first-rate powder room enhances an overall restaurant adventure, and is often responsible for patrons taking longer than usual when returning to the dinner table. Bathrooms are not just to handle business — they can leave one to ponder design details, hang out, or provide an optical illusion. Well-designed ones make the best use of space, have countless Instagram photos, or become the enthusiastic topic of discussion. Here are LA’s best bathrooms, from the grandiose to the artful.Read More
10 LA Restaurant Bathrooms That You Will Want to Instagram
A first-rate powder room can make or break a dining experience
1. Katsuya Brentwood
After washing hands, look closely into the mirror. Is that a Japanese Noh mask staring back? If in the women’s room, is that a geisha? Designer Philippe Starck created Katsuya’s feel, and wants people to embrace their inner narcissist while in the Brentwood bathrooms. The reflection sometimes scares people, and the dark lights and mirrors allow a faint glimpse while wondering: what exactly is she staring at?
2. Wolfgang's Steakhouse
One might need to send in a search party at Wolfgang’s Beverly Hills steakhouse, because the toilets are high end toys. But they are quite functional and advanced. Walk into a stall, and the toilet seat immediately lifts. Everyone will enjoy the high tech bathroom with big stalls, and multi-setting bidets. Plus, there is nothing quite like a heated toilet seat and automatic seat cover.
There is no soap dispenser in the Vespertine bathroom, and figuring out how to wash one’s hands can feel like a test of logical-thinking skills. To the left of the sink are a series of small vials with clear liquid. To the right, a bowl of perfectly untouched powder. More than one Eater editor hesitated. Spoiler alert: The bowl of manicured powder is soap.
4. The Bazaar by José Andrés
The Bazaar bathroom experience is a mirrored delight. Think of a funhouse with mirrors from floor to ceiling, which could cause confusion while on multiple cocktails. Luckily, there is an attendant to assist in finding the stall, cotton towels, or where to wash hands in this very modern bathroom.
5. The Rabbit Hole
Two words encapsulate everything about the Rabbit Hole’s restrooms: creepy and perplexing. Some inspiration comes from the 1970s horror flick “The Shining,” complete with fake blood and Jack Nicholson’s face. It is entirely appropriate to call the toilet the murder room. Look for instructions to open the bathroom door, which could be wrong, or the upside down sign out front.
6. Hamburger Mary's
Hamburger Mary’s always entertains, complete with watching people make an entrance during bingo or karaoke. It is infinitely better to make a dramatic and private entrance into their Pepto Bismol colored bathroom, with a glowing disco ball to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” on repeat. Hamburger Mary’s gender neutral bathroom is a diva’s dream.
Also Featured in:
Umeda is an upscale Japanese from Takuya Umeda (previously a chef at Matsuhisa) that opened in spring 2017. Umeda’s unique and bold design presence on Melrose near Highland is eye-catching, and the bathrooms were given just as much attention. The entry is a sliding door into a futuristic, modern Japanese restroom, complete with a mega-fancy automated toilet.
8. Beauty & Essex
When looking through Instagram user photos at Beauty & Essex, many are in the ladies’ bathroom. And with good reason: they serve rose champagne without charge. This is truly a girl’s room. There’s much to love, with lengthy mirrors, sparkly decor, and watchful attendants. Unfortunately, the men don’t get the same service and bubbles.
9. Michael's Restaurant
There are three bathrooms at Michael’s in Santa Monica. Every single one is an adventure in art, and fills most of the bathroom wall space. The pieces change every few years, with the last shuffling during Michael’s reopening in 2016. Their collection features prominent artists, including photographs from David Hockney and Dennis Hopper. There are also paintings from Charles Garabedian, Martin Von Hasselberg, Robert Graham, William Brice and Astrid Preston.
10. La Boucherie on 71
Even the bathrooms at La Boucherie on 71 have great views. The 71st floor of the Intercontinental Hotel has two distinctly different bathroom experiences for the men and women. The men’s room overlooks the northwest part of the city, with a bare and masculine feel. The ladies room is like a dream. There is Marie Antoinette-like decor, giant mirrors. Some might feel the look is a bit gaudy, but others might call this decadence. After washing hands in the spacious porcelain sink, sit in a giant chair festooned in 17th century fabric, and pretend to be 17th century royalty.