Optical Works, Phoenix Optical, and Fine Arts Optical have manufactured frames by hand for more than 70 years, resulting in a cache of tens of thousands of contemporary styles as well as more than 3 million unused vintage frames. Artisans handcraft each pair of glasses in French or Italian factories using materials such as bamboo, buffalo and ram horn, traditional metal, and plastics to customize specs and keep up with current ocular trends. A prescription lab forges custom lenses that fit into frames, enhancing vision with polarized sunglasses, hidden bifocals, special coatings, and hard-to-fit prescriptions for nearsighted third eyes. Each store showcases around 3,000 different pairs of frames that both emulate the looks of celebrities and suit individuals’ styles.
Launched more than three decades ago, Site for Sore Eyes now operates in more than 35 showrooms throughout the Bay Area. Staffers at every location share their dedication when pairing customers with head-turning eyewear and contacts. The company offers a $25 warranty that secures all of its products, replacing broken frames for free and furnishing half-price replacements for glasses that are lost, stolen, or transformed into an acorn squash. In case eyes require prescription tweaks, each shop sits next door to California-licensed Sterling VisionCare doctors of optometry.
Dr. Jay Bansal has performed more than 20,000 successful LASIK procedures since his 1994 certification by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Dr. Bansal, a physician trainer for IntraLase technology and the medical director of LaserVue Eye Center, performs every single LASIK procedure at three of the center’s four locations: San Francisco, Mountain View, and Walnut Creek. He specializes in a blade-free process using iLASIK wavefront technology, which relies on advanced lasers and enhanced optical imagery to improve a patient’s chances of achieving 20/20 or better vision while decreasing their chances of experiencing nighttime blurriness. In addition to LASIK, LaserVue’s American Board of Ophthalmology-certified eye surgeons and ophthalmic technicians offer several types of cataract surgery, as well as treatments for other ocular conditions such as dry eye or glaucoma.
The Monetta family has been helping Bay Area locals see for nearly 60 years. At Eyes in Disguise and Dr. Monetta Optometry, Dr. Robert Monetta O.D. proudly carries on his father's practice that he took over nearly 30 years ago. He uses his own experience to expertly screen patients of all ages for vision loss and chronic eye conditions. At either of Dr. Monetta's optical shops, patients can choose from stylish handmade frames or brand-name pieces from Kazuo Kawasaki, Gucci, and Prada, and can also count on superior patient care and customer service.
Though SEE Eyewear’s specs are only found in their stores, their designs sprout from imaginations around the world. Winner of reader's choice awards in cities ranging from San Francisco to Nashville, SEE Eyewear stocks its frames directly from fashionable frame crafters and passes on the savings of doing business at the source to customers. The company calls on fashion designers from France, Italy, and other style-conscious countries to create one-of-a kind designs to be featured on store shelves and client faces. Before that happens, though, each potential frame goes through a rigorous design and review process to ensure its distinctiveness and quality before it can be added to the national eyewear shop’s exclusive coveted selection.
From cat-eye to horn-rimmed and perfectly round to wayfarer-inspired, the cost of each frame includes single-vision lenses, giving customers the simplicity of a flat price that doesn’t require customers to pay an extra prescription fee or mine their own bifocal quarry. SEE Eyewear also trains its staff members to be aesthetically savvy so they can find the perfect fashion-forward, vision-correcting specs for any face shape, mood, or fashion sense.
Dr. William Ellis sharpened his corneal crafting skills at the side of Professor Syvatslov Fyodorov, the father of modern radial keratotomy, and has since completed more than 50,000 LASIK procedures in his career. With a keen focus on personal attention and individual patient needs, he performs every laser vision surgery at all six Ellis Eye & Laser Medical Center locations, relying on an armory of advanced technology to map eye terrain, correct vision, and prepare patrons to work as a chameleon’s parole officer. Further showcasing his knowledge on the subject, Dr. Ellis has written a medical textbook on eye surgery entitled Keratotomy Surgery for Myopia, Hyperopia and Astigmatism.
Dr. Vincent Penza and Dr. Katherine Morioka have seen a lot of each other during their lives. They both attended the University of California at Berkeley, where they received their Doctor of Optometry degrees, and upon graduation combined forces to start City Optometry—where they’ve been tag-teaming clients' vision for the past 20 years. Nowadays the two visionaries keep peepers enjoying the sights of the city with services such as eye exams and LASIK consultations. In an ever-evolving field, they keep their office updated with state-of-the-art tools such as Stratus OCT Diagnostic Imaging, which snaps digital photographs of the retina that can detect abnormalities, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. After clients receive their prescription, they can peruse shelves lined with eyewear from Christian Dior, Ray Ban, and Lafont to bolster a fashionable look and thinly veil a superhero alter ego.