In the hypersaturated world of Bay Area food blogs and restaurant reviews, it can be hard to find a new angle.
But some enterprising local has started a new type of restaurant review Tumblr, Table and Throne, which reviews restaurant bathrooms as well as the restaurants themselves, thus combining two seemingly incompatible concepts: gastronomy and commode-onomy. And there are of course photos -- of both.
The whole thing is written with casual snark and occasional self-deprecating humor that makes for entertaining reading. For example this scathing review of Thai Time's toilet paper reads: "One fucking ply. Inexcusable. Possibly my biggest restaurant restroom pet peeve." Thai Time's "throne" got a lowly one and a half stars.
Another gem, about food presentation at Pasta Pomodoro in Emeryville reads: "I could say 'without poetry.' Or I could put a positive spin on it and say 'functionally prosaic.' Both would be accurate statements."
The food reviews are generally split into five categories: food quality, portion size, presentation, atmosphere, and service, and usually also including Yelp's opinion. Like Yelp, Table and Throne also uses a five-star system.
And then there's the throne. Table and Throne offers an exhaustive seven categories look at each restroom: size, decor, temperature, cleanliness, toilet paper, music, and other. The overall restroom experience is also rated out of five stars. The many photos also speak volumes about each reviewed restroom.
The apparently anonymous reviewer has penned nine reviews so far -- ranging from Taste of the Himalayas in Berkeley to Thai Time in San Francisco's Richmond district. So far his or her favorites have been two East Bay spots: the Loring Cafe ("If Gaudi designed a bathroom for a wealthy, Spanish version of Bilbo Baggins, this would be it") and Olivieto ("Temperature: Idyllic - neither stuffy nor cold").
While the blog currently doesn't have too many reviews thus far, given time Table and Throne may one day be a useful resource for culinary adventurers.