Bathroom Beef: Quality Meats vs. Kobe Club

Swipe some tp from Quality Meats (left) and take it across the street to Kobe Club (right).Photo: Daniel Maurer

On limo-lined 58th Street, two nouveau steakhouses face each other in a bizarre game of Spy vs. Spy. The white spy: bright, cheery Quality Meats of the Wollensky empire, designed by the whiz kids at AvroKO. The black spy: Chodorows infamous Kobe Club, a noirish trip that resembles a Tarantino stage set. Each has its bag of trick s QMs meat-hook chandeliers! KCs samurai swords! but the nukes in their arsenals are, of course, the restrooms. After youve finished a 64-ounce growler of Quality beer or a $225 bowl of Kobe punch, youre going to need to use 'em. So lets take a look.

Quality Meats

Theme: Sparkling tiles, mirrored stall doors, and warm filament-bulb lighting vaguely evoke a spa (see also Public).

The lounge: Downstairs, a diorama-like nook done up in flock wallpaper contains two chairs, an old rotary phone, and a Lucite bulls head.

Amenities: Over a disposal hamper, a shelf holds enough hand towels to dry off a herd of cattle. In the stalls, tp rolls are covered with custom paper.

Drawbacks: The mens-room door doesnt close completely, so you can hear screams of STEAK ME! from the nearby kitchen. The low-rider toilets are built for circus midgets.

Strategy: Hide out in one of the stalls so you can overhear the usual steakhouse-restroom banter: Dude, is that hostess smokin or what? You should totally go for her, bro.


Kobe Club

Theme: As Platt put it in his review, Unisex bathrooms done in what might be described as a neo-seventies Bob Guccione motif.

The lounge: A narrow hallway where two wood-and-leather chairs with leather pillows flank not a rotary phone but a Zen-type plant tray.

Amenities: Mirrors everywhere; deep sink basins; and coolest of all, a pull chain descending from the ceiling causes the toilet to flush.

Drawbacks: In one of the small WCs, the push-down soap dispenser got a little too excited and squirted all over us then the faucet didnt work.

Strategy: Scrawl on the walls: BRUNI WAS HERE. We dare you.