Hit List: Beauty + Grooming Must-Haves

 Anyone who’s attempted an at-home Brazilian wax/teeth whitening/haircut is familiar with the DIY margin of error and its considerable pit falls. While saving a couple bucks by attempting our personal maintenance at home can work out, there’s something so luxuriously satisfying about seeing a pro. A trip to the spa will always leave us shinier and delightfully smug. But where do you go in a city with such a vast array of primping options?

 Here’s the secret  to professional grooming in Los Angeles: find the guy/gal who you vibe with and become a regular.

 So with our Opulence Issue right around the corner, LAC rounded up our favorite spas and professionals so you can treat yourself. We promise it’ll be worth it.

 

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[infobox maintitle=” HAIR COLOR” subtitle=”AYA SALON  | SANTA MONICA ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://http://ayajimmy.com/”]

Every time we enter the Aya Salon, Jimmy greets us with a squeeze, a great magazine selection, and particularly good coffee. He has been know to achieve the perfect cool blonde without damage, and he has kept our brown hair multifaceted, glossy, and red-free (virtually impossible with box dye) for a year now.

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[infobox maintitle=”FACIAL ” subtitle=”SPA INTERCONTINENTAL | CENTURY CITY ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://interconspala.com/”]

The Spa InterContinental, located on the 2nd floor of the Intercontinental Hotel has surprisingly easy-to-find valet parking (comped for spa guests) . For just $105, we are lead into a spacious and remarkably still, outdoor/indoor private room. Within an hour, the wizard of a technician employs traditional eastern techniques, painless extractions, and ultra-restorative serums to transform us into our better version—the hydrated version who looks as though she’s eaten all her vegetables.

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[infobox maintitle=”SPA” subtitle=”WI SPA | KOREATOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.wispausa.com/”]

If you’re at all familiar with Korean spas, you know not to expect a traditional, western spa experience. The Korean concept is based on the idea of a community bathhouse. We checked our modesty at the door and stepped into Wi Spa, enjoying its gender separated hot and cold baths, showers, and massage treatment spaces. Both sexes are welcomed at the full workout gym, sleeping areas, acupressure rooms, salon, internet café, and the rooftop terrace. We could spend 24-7 here. Which is great, because that’s what the Wi Spa’s hours of operation actually are.

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[infobox maintitle=”LASHES” subtitle=”ANGELA RAE BEAUTY | BRENTWOOD ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.angelaraebeauty.com/”]

A friend of a friend recommended Angela Rae Beauty to us. Longtime makeup artist and esthetician, Angela understands eye shape and brows and educates her clients to select a tailored lash application. The extensions take about an hour to complete and will last up to six weeks. She was lovely to chat with until we eventually dozed off, and re-emerged as a person who doesn’t have to wear mascara.

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[infobox maintitle=” HAIR CUT” subtitle=”KIM VO SALON | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://kimvo.com/”]

Sounds silly, but a good haircut can leave you feeling like you can conquer the world. All to often, the cycle of the transformative hair experience is always the same: We enter the salon, pay an arm and a leg for a haircut with the expectation it will put mere mortals to their knees in awe, and we leave crestfallen and destitute, with a slightly shinier version of our old haircut in tow. Enter Mika Fowler at Kim Vo Salon inside the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The Japanese beauty has been mastering the dry cut for over a decade, not to mention styling some of LA’s most famous faces throughout her career.  True, it may be a pricey excursion, but with offerings of champagne, coffee, and Mika’s delightful little red petticoat in tow, we left feeling a just a bit more inspired and entirely victorious. Take that, life.

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[infobox maintitle=”TEETH” subtitle=”MARK JAMISON, DDS | BEVERLY HILLS ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”http://www.jamisondds.com/”]

If nothing else, Dr. Jamison’s bedside manner is worth the visit. No more scolding you for not flossing every night or brushing incorrectly. (Can you just give me my free toothbrush so I can leave already?) Instead, Dr. Jamison’s approach is lighthearted, informative, and alleviating. Specializing in everything from general to cosmetic dentistry, this place is a welcome destination to get our oral hygiene game on point.  Not only that, but the whole office is digitized, allowing us to see our own X-rays and dental records from a computer monitor without ever leaving that rotating dental chair. The doctor will see you now.

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[infobox maintitle=”WAX” subtitle=”WAX CANDY | DOWNTOWN ” bg=”gray” color=”black” opacity=”on” space=”30″ link=”no http://waxcandy.com/”]

To wax or not to wax? Um, if shaving is the other option, we’re gonna go with wax. The folks over at Wax Candy offer everything from brows to bikini and are quick, clean, and reasonably priced. And if a Brazilian is on the menu, fear not—the informative staff walked us through the procedure, which happens to be surprisingly pain-free. But unfortunately, unless you’ve been the victim of the alternative, you might not appreciate just how spectacular that really is.

featured photo by  Asami Photography with model Tova @VISION ,makeup by Barbara Yniguez, and hair by Angel V.Prado

 

GATHER, GLUTTONS: DINE LA DELIVERS 12 DAYS OF GUILT FREE DINING

It’s that time of year again! When the most gluttonous of the gluttons exercise their right to wine and dine all over the city during LA’s Winter Restaurant Week. From January 20-31st, LA’s best restaurants are offering specially priced prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus. For some, it’s an excuse to be thrifty while indulging in their favorite haunts, and for others it is a perfect reason to be adventurous with those tastebuds. Either way, you should give your stove, microwave, and local pizza joint a break and treat yo self to culinary magic at a great price – it only happens a few times a year.


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Lukshon | Photo by: Jakob N. Layman

Asian/Asian-Fusion

Lukshon | 3239 Helms Avenue, Culver City, CA 90232
Price: Lunch: $20, Dinner: $35
Father’s Office chef/owner Sang Yoon’s take on South Eastern Asian cuisine is executed at Lukshon with fine dining techniques and a beautiful outdoor atmosphere to match. What to expect: bold flavors, but small portions.
*menu not available yet

Badmaash | 108 West 2nd Street #104, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Price: Lunch: $15, Dinner:  $25
As if we could ask for a better combination of cuisines from the food gods, Badmaash has answered our prayers. Savory, bold Indian dishes with a gastropub slant–burgers, poutine fries and chili cheese will never be looked at the same ever again.
*menu not available yet

Night + Market | 9041 Sunset Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Price: Dinner: $35
Famed for their Thai street food-influenced menu, Night + Market has gained a rep for using Dine LA as a time to experimenting with off-menu offerings and Chef Kris Yenbamroong is one of the rising stars in LA’s culinary scene.
*menu not available yet

sottoCourtesy: Sotto Restaurant

Italian

Sotto | 9575 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Price: Dinner: $35
Noted for their pastas and pizzas cooked in a wood-burning oven, Sotto offers delicious South Italian-regional cuisine.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/sotto

Piccolo Venice | 150 S Beverly Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Price: Dinner: $45
A quaint slice of Italy that can be enjoyed on the beaches of Venice — it may not be overlooking the waters of the Venetian Lagoon, but hey, close enough. Piccolo offers classic dishes with an authentic dining experience, and they may be one of the few restaurants offering truffles on their Dine LA menu.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/piccolo-venice

 

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Picca Peruvian Cantina | P
hoto by http://hautekhuuture.blogspot.com/

Latin

Rivera | 1050 South Flower Street #102, Los Angeles, CA 90015
Price: Lunch: $25, Dinner: $45
A modern Latin restaurant, their dishes may read as ordinary on paper, but are artfully presented with sauces and spices painted and stenciled on that make for gorgeous presentation that looks as impressive as it tastes.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/rivera

Picca Peruvian Cantina | 9575 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Price: Dinner: $45
Chef Ricardo Zarate plays by the traditional rules when it comes to how he serves his menu of over 50 Peruvian dishes, designed to be shared family-style, but where he breaks the mold is in his knack for Japanese flair in his execution and innovation.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/picca

Chef de Cuisine Ken Takayama of Melisse - Los Angeles, CA
Courtesy: Melisse Restaurant 

French

Patina | 141 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Price: Dinner: $85
Nestled in Walt Disney Concert Hall, Chef Joachim Splichal’s flagship restaurant is modern and classy, with Patina’s location preceding its penchant for elegance and exquisite French-Californian dining.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/patina-restaurant

Melisse | 1104 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90401
Price: Dinner: $85
Like to take your time dining? A visit to Melisse is in order. Serving up seasonal French cuisine, Melisse will have you feeling totes refined – but be prepared for a long stay, 2.5 hours long to be exact.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/melisse

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Fogo de Chao Churrascaria | Photo: James Camp

Best Bang For Your Buck

Fogo de Chao Churrascaria | 133 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Price: Lunch: $25, Dinner: $45
Meat, meat, meat. Head to Fogo de Chao for Brazilian style all-you-can-eat steak and other choice cuts of meat alongside a pretty legit salad bar (hint: grab some parmesan wedges). The cat’s out of the bag when it comes to Fogo being a good deal though, so make sure you’re prepared to potentially be seated an hour after the time you’ve reserved.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/fogo-de-chao-churrascaria

Lucques | 8474 Melrose Ave. West Hollywood, CA 90069
Price: Lunch: $25, Dinner: $50
The appearance and vibe of Lucques is that of a weekend getaway in your rich in-laws’ guest house. Chef Suzanne Goin is notorious for her take on Mediterranean cuisine by adding a bit of our regional California style: bold flavors, seasonal ingredients and farm-to-table produce.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/lucques

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Courtesy: Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse

Steak

Cut | 9500 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Price: Dinner: $85
This Wolfgang Puck steakhouse is a mixture of top notch meat slabs and art, basically everything you could hope for in fine dining. While parking may be a little troublesome, we promise they make up for it in outstanding steak.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/cut

Nick + Stef’s Steakhouse | 330 South Hope Street #100, Los Angeles, CA 90071
Price: Lunch: $20, Dinner: $35
Rave reviews of dry-aged USDA choices and nearly too many a la carte sides to choose from, Nick + Stef’s seems to be the place to indulge in all your carnivorous longings.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/nick-stefs-steakhouse

 

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Scratch Bar | Photo:
MyLastBite

Gastropub  &  New-American

Fundamental LA | 1303 Westwood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Price: Lunch: $15, Dinner: $35
Fundamental LA has the four S’s you look for in a casual dining spot: soup, salad, sides and sandwiches. Sprinkled throughout the menu is more eclectic dinner options such as duck liver jar and japanese sword squid.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/fundamental-la

Scratch Bar | 111 North La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Price: Dinner: $45
Heavily influenced by tattoo culture and handmade aesthetic the men of Scratch Bar aim to serve those with a creative slash humorous side and the proof is in the menu – cured pig’s head, squid in a box,  and vanilla ice cream with sprinkles to name a few.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/what-to-do/restaurants/scratchbar

Mud Hen Tavern | 742 North Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Price: Dinner: $25
Susan Feniger’s latest restaurant endeavor gives you gourmet pub food with a heavy dose of comfort. This gastropub gives you a range of vegetarian and vegan options with specialty and creatively named IPAs, pilsners, and lagers to wash your palate with.
Menu: http://www.discoverlosangeles.com/search/site/mud%20hen%20tavern