Thursday 24 January 2008

Chic Shiki Houses Cozy Sitting Room and Ornate Toilet Paper Holder

Shiki at the Beach
4192 S. Atlantic Ave.
New Smyrna Beach, FL USA 32169

Where is it?

From the main entrance, round the sushi bar set in the right-hand side of the place and then head to the back of the place. Pass through a set of curtains separating the dining room from the bathroom area. Once through, you'll enter a comfortable sitting area (a nice touch). The bathrooms are just behind that sitting area.

What's it like?

This fantastic little sushi restaurant just south of Daytona Beach offers a friendly, if slightly funky, atmosphere and some truly delicious offerings -- which rivals the quality of sushi I've had at other better-known sushi restaurants in Orlando and Vegas.

The interior is unimposing and inviting. The sushi bar takes center stage, with the rear of it opening up into the kitchen. (Nearly all the cooks, front and back, greet you as you walk in, which is kind of neat.) The interior design mixes traditional Japanese decor with a beach-lover mentality -- ornate, formal wall hangings backed by bits of pastel colors, if you will.

The bathrooms extend the style quotient of the dining room, albeit with a minimalist approach. The walls and floor are covered in rust-colored marble tiles and as such contrast the black colors found outside. Bits of elegant Japanese decor stand in the corners or hang from the walls, including a slick stand/podium that seems to be there solely to provide a place for the air freshener to sit on (it's such a neat twist that it makes me rethink the comments I made previously about Mr. K's and Tacos El Rancho, about where the air freshener should be placed). The sink and toilet are your standard white porcelain variety, but they contrast so much with the walls of other bits of decor that they take on a sort of artistic quality (much like what we found at Sensi and the sublime Okada in Las Vegas, though not quite as Zen-like as those).

Also noteworthy: This is one of the few places (with the exception of maybe the American Signature Furniture store in Orlando) that utilizes trendy add-ons to good effect. Case in point: The toilet paper holder found here. A sort of two-prong stand, it fits perfectly with the other decorative touches in the room. Talk about making good use of bargain basement finds!

The fact that they designers have placed a cozy sitting room outside the toilets makes it all the more impressive. These are "one bagger" bathrooms, if you will, so knowing that your guest can wait for the next available loo in a plush chair instead of just standing there impatiently while waiting for a door to open certainly shows they care about their customers. (And we love sitting rooms, as evidenced by our naming the Mall at Millennia our favorite toilet experience of 2007.)

Marks out of 10:

9. A great, cozy, stylish toilet made better with the inclusion of a sitting area.

Comments to the Management:

You've outdone yourself here. Nothing more to say.

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