I’m curious to this as well, as I am working on a RESTful site that needs to have admin-facing pages as well as end-user-facing pages.
I believe the “accepted” solution is to specify a specific layout if the user has administrative privileges - I’m guessing this would have to be done in the controller action, along the lines of:
render :layout => ‘admin’ if logged_in_user.is_admin?
# Normal user stuff
However, that seems a little crufty to me and not as DRY as it could be (“wet”?) - but I am relatively new to Rails so I don’t know if it would be easier to use a before_filter.