10 Most Outrageous Restaurants

Posted Jul 2nd 2010 11:30 AMUpdated Jan 21st 2011 01:20 PM

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What if dinner wasn't just dinner, but entertainment to boot? These 10 restaurants from around the world offer just that: An experience in addition to your meal at no additional charge. They're all a little bit wild, and completely unforgettable. Dinner is served in the dark or in the dungeon, and drinks come via drip or presented by trained monkeys. Sure, you could choose a restaurant based on the quality of its food, but where's the fun in that? Just watch out for the ninjas.


10. The Lockup, Tokyo, Japan


Walking into this prison themed restaurant is like stepping onto the set of an old-fashioned, blood-curdling horror movie. The bar looks like it's been carved into a cave-like dungeon, there are skull-shaped lights with handcuffs hung beneath them, and the tables are in cells complete with bars, of course. Order up the cocktail called "Human Experimentation" (served as a set of beakers) or the "Life Sentence," followed by the human specimen salad (which is really just greens topped with grilled chicken) or Dracula's dinner platter (a spread of chicken wings, salads, grilled vegetables). Just don't tell them it's your birthday, or they'll send a "monster" out to sing to you.


9. Conflict Kitchen, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Pittsburghers looking to get out of their comfort zone of pierogi and French fry-topped sandwiches need look no further than Conflict Kitchen, a take-away restaurant that serves the cuisine of a country that the U.S. is in conflict with, rotating every four months. Up first: Kubideh Kitchen, serving the classic Iranian dish of the same name: Skewered kebabs of spiced ground meat served on warm barbari bread (baked with black sesame seeds) and topped with chopped onion, mint, and basil. Sandwiches are served in wrappers that are printed with comments from Iranians and Iranian-Americans on the current political conflict between the countries. Coming up is the cuisine of Afghanistan, North Korea, and Venezuela.


8. The Clinic, Singapore


Singapore is the center of the medical vacation industry -- an interesting statistic that plays heavily into your evening when you dine at The Clinic. The restaurant is decorated with medical-themed artwork by Damien Hirst (the British artist previously known best for his installation of a shark suspended in a tank) and the "pharma-kitsch decor" extends to stainless steel surgical tables set with wheelchairs. The waiters are dressed in hospital whites and patrons are "fed" via IVs of cocktails that include "Sex on a Drip." Not into the drip? Order margarita "sprays" or whisky-sour "pastilles" designed to look like pills instead. Fortunately, the snack-oriented menu of prawn dumplings, fishcakes, and chicken wings looks nothing like hospital food.


7. Ice Hotel, Quebec, Canada


Each winter, the ice hotel is carved anew, and remains open from January to March. Pillars are structured from ice, archways are built out of snow, and cave-like tables are chiseled, set with candles, and lined with fur-topped ice benches. In the bar, you can drink cocoa out of paper cups or brightly hued cocktails in artistic square "glasses" before being served local cuisine on ice plates or retiring to an outdoor hot tub.



6. Ninja, New York, New York


This Manhattan restaurant is set up to make you feel as though you have entered a hidden ninja village where two factions are at war. You're greeted by a costumed waiter who bows and leads you down a torch-lit path to a private room. You may hear bangs on the wall as waiters run past in hot pursuit or screams from the torture chamber where they reenact the whipping of misbehaving ninjas who have brought shame on the village. The menu itself includes classic Japanese fare like soba and tempura and your waiter may drop through the ceiling to clear your plates. Some dishes are just as entertaining, including a crab and grapefruit salad decorated with dry ice and a sword (pull out the sword to dig into the dish and a puff of smoke arises) and a green tea ice cream dessert topped with a tower of piecrust designed to look like a bonsai plant. It's a strangely peaceful sight among the chaos of warfare.


5. Modern Toilet Restaurant, Taipei, Taiwan


Somebody had to do it-the first potty-themed restaurant. Tables are set with toilets instead of seats in a room lined with bathroom tiles. The restaurant's premier dish was what they describe as "a big pile of chocolate ice cream sold in containers shaped like a squat toilet." Today this chain of Taiwanese theme restaurants offers so much more, including beef curry in a toilet and as well as gratins served in bed pans. Sides include soap dishes filled with onion rings, and they also serve shaved ice piled into what looks like a miniature plastic urinal. Still, the signature dish remains the artistically swirled chocolate soft serve.


4. B.E.D., Miami, Florida


For those who prefer breakfast in bed, this restaurant is a real treat. Dinner is served on tray-topped beds, which are dressed with sheets and lots of pillows and surrounded by curtains that can be drawn for privacy. It's easier to keep your composure eating finger foods like duck spring rolls and crab cakes wrapped in rice paper than it is with, say, a steak. And, of course, grazing on appetizers rather than ordering an entree will leave more room for the Cloud 9 soufflé or the tiramisu dessert, which is designed to look like a bed itself.


3. Izakaya Kayabuki, Tochigi, Japan


This may seem like a classic Japanese-style pub. But wait until you meet the wait staff. The waiters are actually monkeys (yes, monkeys) dressed in human clothing, one as a man and the other as a woman in a wig. They greet you with hot towels and serve bottles of beer. They'll also hang out with you while you eat your gyoza and teppanyaki. And don't expect the service to be a hairy situation: These macaques understand requests for another round of beer, and hop to it promptly.


2. Torch Bistro, Punta Gorda, Florida


If you were intrigued by the scene in the first Sex and the City movie where Samantha suggestively serves sushi without plates, book a private room at this Gulf Coast restaurant. Make a reservation for six or more people and they will arrange a private sushi spread on a naked model (strategically covered in seaweed) as well as sake. The practice, called nyotaimori, originated in Japan and is usually done at a special event. Our advice? Be careful with the chopsticks.


1. Opaque, Los Angeles, California


Why must you check your belongings, turn off your cell phone, and order your meal before you're taken to your table? This restaurant, which also has locations in San Diego and San Francisco, is literally pitch black and the waiters are blind or otherwise visually impaired. The prix fixe menus aren't designed to ease your adjustment to dining in the dark-meals start with salad, followed with fork-necessary entrees like tuna steaks, filet mignon, or roasted chicken plus spoon-not-optional desserts including panna cotta. Unfortunately, the restaurant won't spring for your dry cleaning bill if you miss your mouth.

Filed Under: Weird

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parlenic

If the girl farts while everyone is eating at the table, you dont get your money back.

December 16 2010 at 2:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
parlenic

After reading the blog the immaturity level is unexceptable on both sides of the table for the Torch Bistro moderators and the ones downgrading the restaurant. When someone slanders your restaurant you portray yourself as a thug that wants them to show their face. Either your paranoid that you have people after you which is an insecurity or you do. Either way. That is not how you respond to critics. It makes people who would have liked to try your venue uneasy because of your responses and reactions to what could have been just a disappointed customer. Most people. 99.9 % of the time don't put their names on blogs for more reasons than to just hide from your sir I assure you. As a final call I would not come to this place as it seems like it attracts drama and bullies the truth. Good food or not. Just having to think about the guy running the place wanting everyone that gave him a bad judgement to "SHOW YOUR FACE." is just plain amateur and immature.

December 16 2010 at 2:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Stefin

WOW WOW WOW...anyone who needs to write such negative comments that strong must have some grudge greater then just your food being brought out cold lol. I live just a few blocks from this place and eat there usually twice a week on average (not counting just going up for a drink) and I can honestly say I have never been disapointed. The owners put a lot of thought into the atmosphere and events, the drink specials are nice and the food is delicious. What more do you really need out of a dining establishment. Their Sunday Champagne Brunch was a home run idea. Since the first time I went there and tried the stuffed chicken in a citrus wine sauce I was hooked. The menu quality is actually pretty surprising considering you can usually have dinner for two with drinks for about $25 bucks. Also, just on a side note...I noticed in that long negative comment, not one reason was given why you don't like the place. What's your grudge? All you say is that you don't like it but give no reason.

October 27 2010 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Stefin's comment
Stefin

That was in reference to The Torch Bistro and Martini Bar.

October 27 2010 at 8:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Charco

Torch bistro?!?!?! This must be a joke! I almost just fell off my chair! They do this style dining in many big cities that would cremate the sh*t they serve at this establishment. Did you pay a webmaster to hack the system? The restaurant is terrible, locals do not like to eat there as you can see if you drive by, the parking lot is always empty. Mysef as well as my clients refuse to eat there! PG is absolutely correct on slandering other restaurants they do this too often. They also have close friends and family write 5 star reviews on sites to TRY and promote their business. Why wasn't it mentioned on the travel channels Top 10 most outrageous restaurants to eat in? Same writers on both shows...hmm...? If you like watching your cooks hack in your food from the open kitchen, service the same as local diners and food that will make you wish you just stopped and ate fast food I would highly recommend it if you can put a check on all three of those! Happy dining!

October 15 2010 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Charco's comment
torch2115@yahoo.com

I love it when a competitor tries to trash us. Don't you love when people have something to say but always send their comment using a fake name !!!!!!!! its because they can't say it to your face their missing a backbone.

October 27 2010 at 7:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Butterfly girl

Wow. I live in Fort Myers and travel to Punta Gorda to dine and since we saw this we decided to try it out and what a dinner. This place does stand out in Punta Gorda. I have not seen a restaurant/club like this unless I was in New York or Miami. With out a doubt this is an outrageous restaurant. We did not get to experience the naked sushi but from what we had seen, ate and drank we will be back. Congrats Torch for making the AOL travel. Also nice to see that you do not need to spend a lot of money for a great dinning experience. Look forward to many more experiences there.

October 05 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jackie@huntergregory.com

I'm sure there are plenty more "outrageous" restaurants in the world, but this list is pretty interesting. I'm happy to see "Torch Bistro" made the number 2 spot because they are in my home town and it's a fantastic restaurant. The sushi is just plain delicious (whether it's served strategically on a "naked lady" or brought to your table on a platter). The rest of the menu is excellent as well. The owners bring great food, exciting entertainment and a Class A restaurant to our little town that is "hip and cutting edge". Good Choice AOL!

October 05 2010 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bill

This one's a real memory test. Way back in '57 our boy scout group stopped, by chance, in a cellar restaurant that had a very strange eating setup. Two people would follow a waiter to a cell-like room, after sitting, facing each other, the waiter closed the thick door and the table could be swung from the wall to settle on a support just below an opening when the much smaller door could be opened for food to be slid in/onto the table. The food/drink could be ordered by a phone/intercom system that also offered a music selection. There was apparently no time limit, but as I recall you were expected to order ...something! Never would see anything like it again. I believe it was in/near Brussels, Belgium, a year before a world's fair. I wonder if anyone reading this might have experienced it, and where it might have been located, or still is.

October 04 2010 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PG

I cannot believe that Torch Bistro made this list. The idea of naked sushi is certainly not unique (or really all that outrageous). Yeah maybe a little bit for the area they are in, but certainly not in an international poll. In addition to that, Torch Bistro has a horrible reputation! They post things on Facebook slamming other restaurants and air their dirty laundry about their personal lives. The food is mediocre. The level of professionalism displayed by the unsophistacated owners, Shane and Heidi, have turned away many of the professionals in the area. They are a duo grasping at straws to keep a failing business afloat.

September 30 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to PG's comment
Jill

PG,
You seem extremely bitter towards the restaurant, so you are either a disgruntled ex-employee (because we do not keep servers/staff who do not hold to our high standards) or someone who steals our ideas. You are very tough and bold hiding behind your PG screen name. If you had a real problem you would not hide and if your opinions are that strong you should stand behind them not hide because now your just a nobody and your credibility lacks, now doesn't it?
Torch has a fabulous reputation with extremely satisfied customers. NYOTAIMORI (aka Naked Sushi) is a unique and outrageous idea for our little town. It is very unique because we are the only ones in SW Florida who offer this Japanese Art form.
There is nothing on the TORCH BISTRO and MARTINI BAR face book page that slams other restaurants. With the exception of a dissertation from a promoter that we used because she was frustrated that people were stealing her ideas. There is absolutely no airing of dirty laundry or personal issues on the TORCH BISTRO and MARTINI BAR face book page at all. I maintain that page and it is used for events only. So i don't know where you are looking or got your misinformation from but the TORCH PAGE is used STRICTLY for events and information,so please get your FACTS straight and not lie and make stuff up.
As for the unsophisticated owners please grow up. How sophisticated are you hiding behind your screen name and making up lies? At least have the gumption to stand behind your words. As for you being so bitter that you feel the need to slander with false information that is something you should work on.
FYI We cater to an overwhelming amount of professionals in our area as well as all surrounding areas. The business is in no way failing. Again check your facts. For someone who doesn't like TORCH you seem to have a lot of time on your hands to make up such harsh inaccurate statements.
As for the food being mediocre, come and see the fabulous reviews and newspaper articles that have been done on TORCH. But some peoples palettes might not enjoy our eclectic cuisine that is your opinion.

October 01 2010 at 12:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
HelloWorld!

I would definatly go to some of these places to learn about the interesting styles of cuisine and the art of beauty some of these places behold.

to some viewers about the "naked model" - They are not actually naked. They have ourfits that look like the leaves that the food is set on. Its no different from a bathing suit really. & I am pretty sure they do this in Japan. Just look at the food.

& though some are not impressed with the intrequet design of these places, others are. You dont have to enjoy the places or go to them if you dont want to, but it is the artist that is most impressed. They made them because it was interesting to them. They obviously dont care what others think, and that in itself and the idea of interest and weirdness, is impressive. BRAVO weird creatures of the world. WOOH!

September 12 2010 at 2:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ROBERT CAMPAIN

BACK IN THE 70'S OR STONE AGE AS MY GRAND-KIDS SEEM TO THINK WAS PRE-JURRASIC. THERE WAS A WAY OVER PRICED 80% DARKENED(OR SO IT CLAIMED). WAS FILLED WITH THESE ROUND BOOTHS FOR 2 TO 20 OR MORE ON ONE. ON A FRI OR SAT NIGHT IN MAY AND JUNE FOR THE FIVE YEARS IT LASTED (SUPRISINGLY)IT WAS BOOKED FOR THE EVENING WITH PROM DATES NOT ONLY FROM DENVER AND THE STATE OF COLORADO' BUT AT LEAST THE SIX STATES THE MELINE IT'S BORDERS BUT MONTANA NORTH DAKOTA(SOUTH TOO)THE NAME OF THE RESTURANT WAS "LADY AND THE DOVE". YOU HAD THE PLEASUE OF SITTING IN A ROUND BOOTH WITH A GLASS CAGE AROUND THE TOP. IT HAD THE MISTY FOGGY APPERENCE OF A FOREST AT DUSK OR DAWN (JUST LUCK OF THE DRAW)IT HAD THE IMMAGE OF A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN FLOATING THROUGH THE FORREST. 2 TO THREE PAIR OF MATING DOVES WERE IN EACH CAGE. AMOURE FILLED THE RESTURANT (THINK THATS WHY THE SO CALLED CHEFS WHO HAD JUST GRADUATED FROM PICKLE PERSON AT McD'S.OVER PRICED AND EACH DISH A CULANARY LANDMINE. BUT YOU WERE IN LOVE!(INLAID LOL) WAS MORE LIKE IT. THATS WHY YOU WERE WILLING TO DISH OUT $75 TO %80 ITH TIP. WHILE BACK HOME YOUR MINIUME WAGE JOB, OF A 1.65 LOOMED IN THE BACK THAT THIS DINNER (ALONE) JUST COST YOU 48.48 HOURS OF WORK,DOH! AHH BUT YO DID AFTER ALL GET TO DOVES MATE AND DIVE BOMB POOP SHOWERS ALL NIGHT AS YOU TRIED TO EAT WHAT WAS PARTLY EDABLE TO BEGIN WITH. NO WONDER THERE WERE SO MANY STONERS BACK THEN. ALOT OF US HAVE HAD THESE WONDERFUL EXPERINCES, SO I GUESS TIME DOESN'T HEAL ALL WOUNDS, BON APPITE!

September 10 2010 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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