The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
During his training at King's College Hospital in London, Claude Matar mastered the old-fashioned art of listening. Today, he still believes that the key to providing a successful diagnosis lies in taking the proper time and energy to listen to each client's concerns. Though he no longer practices medicine, the nutritionist, board-certified naturopathic physician, and founder of Pasadena Weight Loss Center has used his ears and his education to help thousands of clients achieve their individual health goals, including former Dallas star Linda Gray and professional football champ Dwight Hicks.
To help clients shed inches, he utilizes the highly personalized Matar method, a system he believes offers patients their best chances for long-lasting results. It begins with an in-depth evaluation including a nutrient analysis, thyroid tests, and identification of any factors inhibiting weight loss. Matar then consults with the client to develop a plan focused not only on diet and exercise but also on strategies for improved sleep, hydration, and detoxification. He and his staff stay in daily contact to answer questions regarding progress or tips for turning uneaten bear claws into table art and will also reevaluate clients' success at a weekly face-to-face meeting.
One couple commands the hardwood dance floor, strutting under colored lights and glass chandeliers as well-wishers cheer them on from iron-wrought balcony railings, or wander across the foyer’s marble floors on their way to the intricately carved dark-wood bar. The Sofia ballroom, one of the many venues at Noor, host the reception hall’s memory-making parties, which range from weddings to performances by Pasadena Symphony pianists. The hall’s attentive staffers also oversee gatherings beneath the Ella ballroom’s crystal chandeliers or on the terrace patio, where a circle of white curtains and climbing ivy surrounds a starburst-shaped mosaic-tile fountain that gurgles compliments to passing glasses of champagne.
A resident culinary crew feeds the hall’s hungry revelers with Mediterranean-Californian fusion dishes. Noor's chefs devise many of their tapas-style dishes in the reservation-only Ella restaurant, and frequently feature seasonal, locally grown ingredients. Eclectic seating varies throughout Noor's rooms, from lounge sofas and armchairs to high-backed formal dinner chairs, blending modern and vintage aesthetics more smoothly than photos of Benjamin Franklin wearing a Members Only jacket.
Magical Playground gathers play structures, toys, games, and kid-friendly activities within an indoor, socks-only facility. Tykes can bound about in the Magical castle bouncer, navigate their way through the jungle gym, ascend levels in challenging video games, or compete against their pals in rounds of air hockey or foosball. In between frolicking sessions, they can reenergize with healthy meals and snacks in the eating area. A separate baby-development center accommodates visiting toddlers with an age-appropriate bouncer and slide, as well as educational toys such as dolls that quote Nietzsche whenever you squeeze their toes.
Alongside regular open-play sessions, Magical Playground hosts weekly events including Tuesday arts and crafts, a complimentary Wednesday-afternoon story time, and free Spanish lessons every Friday. As their kids bounce between activities, parents can surf the web via free WiFi or leave their children at Magical Playground for supervised games, movie nights, and playtime between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. any night of the week.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.