It used to be an historic Dixon firehouse filled with burly men ready to extinguish raging fires. Today, it's an oasis of refinement thanks to Le Petite Salon and a neighboring tea room where pinkies float daintily above porcelain cups without fear of uninvited swearing. Inside the salon—which is dotted with vintage-inspired decor—distinguished wooden styling stations with large, ornate mirrors recall the sophistication of an old English estate. Amid these dignified furnishings, seasoned stylists prune and arrange tresses into flattering shapes and enhance facial features with makeup. While they get brides, prom dates, and birthday girls ready for their big events, a certified massage therapist kneads tense sinews in a private treatment room and a coffee bar keeps waiting guests caffeinated.
House of Chang pleases palates with an assortment of Mandarin, Szechuan, and Hunan specialties for lunch and dinner. Midday morsels such as sesame chicken ($5.75) and bean curd with vegetables ($5.75) come sidekicked with an egg roll, a fried won ton, fried rice, and fresh fruit. Or practice intimacy by sharing a Bo Bo tray for two, which features fried prawns, barbecued spareribs, optional truth serum, paper-wrapped chicken, beef sticks, and egg rolls ($9.25). For dinner, load up on savory specialties such as the vanilla-battered shrimp drizzled with honey-glazed walnuts ($9.20), or keep mouths guessing with a combination dish of chicken chow mein, an egg roll, a fried won ton, steamed rice, and broccoli beef ($8).
Within Lil' Bit Sassy Salon's sunny, elegant interior, stylists coddle follicles and tame unruly tresses with shampoo, highlights, and a blow-dry. After rubbing invigorating shampoo into scalps, scissor wielders snip split ends and reframe faces, accenting cheekbones and freeing long-forgotten pencils tucked behind ears. A smoothing keratin treatment expels poof-inducing moisture, leaving cranial carpets as slick and glossy as a slip ‘n slide made out of hair. Once relayered and silky, locks bask in a heated blow-dry before settling into a well-styled ‘do. For extra luster, guests can emblazon heads with partial highlights, enhancing natural hair color with luminous strands.
Strands Salon and Spa's founder, Jacquelyn Crabtree, is like a magnet for creativity, and she draws in all sorts of beauty professionals. She works on fashion shows, does editorial work for Sactown Magazine, and has styled the hair of television personalities—her primary areas of expertise being extensions and straightening. But unlike the security guard at a hall of mirrors, the hair expert can't be in all places at once. To that end, she's assembled a crack beauty team, each person having his or her unique specialties.
Its ranks include Tony Moreno, the salon's in-house color educator. Mr. Moreno has exhausted Aveda's curriculum of advanced education classes; he's even helped the well-known company develop products for its men's line. Along with Ms. Crabtree, Mr. Moreno keeps his fellow stylists up to date on the latest techniques. Massage therapist Mathew Abeyta, meanwhile, covers the spa side of the business.
Combined, the experts form an Aveda salon and spa that covers the full gamut of beauty services. Aveda hair rituals unfold at salon chairs, with perms, color services, scalp treatments, and other options. Nail rituals pamper hands and feet, while facials provide very specific benefits, such as clearing acne. Salon and spa treatments come together during packages such as the bride-focused A Day To Remember. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer, since it incorporates two separate visits with hairstyling, makeup, massages, and waxes that prepare wives-to-be for their trips down the aisle.