Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ste 9, 2000 Smallman Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-4425
Grade: A-

It's a good thing that Kaya has a nice men's room. My brunch of huevos rancheros (over easy) with chorizo and coffee was delicious, but rather -- how shall I say this? -- movement inducing. I had not even made it halfway through the dish before I felt myself compelled to investigate, and utilize, the facilities, which lay beneath the restaurant at the base of a rather steep and narrow staircase.

Despite the out-of-the-way placement, Kaya has nothing to hide with this restroom. As pictured below, it is ripe with decorative touches: wood paneling, mosaic wall tiles in a wide range of blue hues, wall art, under-mount sink, stylish faucet. The in-the-wall paper towel cubby is a nice addition, and the paper towels themselves are of the highest quality I have ever seen at a restaurant. The trash, um, hole in the wall is interesting, and possibly labeled so because one might not understand its purpose otherwise. (I could see no hinges for a door or any other sort of opening around this hole, so I honestly have no idea where said trash ends up once deposited, or how it is collected when the time comes to do so.)

I do have a few complaints that, had this restroom been of lower general quality, might have affected the grade more than they do. First of all, it is an extremely small space. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it becomes extremely apparent upon using the stall. Those who know me know that I am not a man of considerable girth, yet when trying to close the stall door I had to position myself as far back in the stall as I possibly could -- and even then, the door still brushed against my chest as it swung by. The small space also means that the toilet itself is positioned very close to one wall (though it seems like there might have been room to center it in the stall). As a result, one's left thigh presses against the wall while seated. Lastly, the restroom is very slightly dirtier than it appears at first glance. Don't get me wrong, the facilities are still very clean overall. But as seen below in the close-up of the faucet, there is some grime that seems to indicate that the finer details are not frequently attended to. This is a very nitpicky observation, though, and I may have caught them right before a thorough cleaning.

All in all, this is a very fine men's room indeed. Next time you are in the Strip District on a Sunday morning and don't feel like waiting in line for one of those other brunch places, stop in to Kaya, order something heavy/delicious, and be prepared to let it fly -- though in total comfort and style.

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