I was savoring a few last bites of buchu kimchi at the gorgeous Korean restaurant Girin a few weeks back when my lovely server approached me with a tip. “You know, we have mouthwash dispensers in the restrooms,” she said quietly.
Oh. My. God. If you don’t know, buchu kimchi is, um, fermented garlic chives. Fish sauce may or may not be involved. If a girl wanted to weaponize her breath, there would arguably be no better means than a few choice bites of buchu kimchi. Or the rest of my vivid meal, for that matter.
I must’ve paled with shame, for she laughed and told me she tells everyone about the mouthwash. “It’s a Korean thing,” she said, explaining that that cuisine’s spicy and fermented flavors have created a culture of mouthwash in bathrooms across that country.
Last weekend at Tom Douglas’s new Carlile Room, my husband came back from the mens’ room with a report of a different personal care product in there—condoms. A vending machine full of ‘em. Although Hard Rock Café made headlines in the ‘80s for selling condoms in its restrooms, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen them in a restaurant bathroom around here. (If you know of any, comment please.) A staffer who came by our table later explained that all sales of the little lifesavers are going to Planned Parenthood. He added that Carlile’s source for the condoms, Toys in Babeland up the hill, sent a box of a thousand recently that never made it to the Carlile Room. “Someone got them,” he laughed. “I’m sure they were pretty confused.”
Indeed. What other personal cares are being attended to in Seattle restaurant restrooms, I mean besides these?