Nestled inside the Bonaventure Hotel, experienced masseuses maintain 10,000 square feet of pure serenity spread across 11 treatment rooms. Cordoned off into sections for men and women, the facility flaunts amenities such as hydro-jet showers with seven pulsing showerheads and saunas fogged with soothing vapor instead of fog machines stolen from middle-school dances. Bonaventure Club plucks massage techniques from all over the globe, including Thailand where therapists stretch frames with their hands, knees, and feet to amplify the client's flexibility and energy. Pre- or post-treament, clients can unwind in a relaxation lounge stocked with Perrier water, jasmine-rose tea, and snacks, while flipping through magazines or watching a big-screen TV.
Sunlight filters through the pergola framing Piccolo Mondo’s outdoor patio, where diners enjoy their meals amongst hanging plants and fresh air. The mottled stucco-style walls both inside and out complement the menu of traditional Italian cuisine. Nuggets of potato-based dough soak in marinara or gorgonzola sauce for the housemade gnocchi, and oven-baked pizzas—topped with ingredients such as shrimp, sundried tomato, and prosciutto—bring to mind the old country more effectively than watching the Three Tenors serenade a plate of pasta.
Phlight's servers pilot plates of traditional Spanish mini meals, bottles of boutique wines, and glasses of international beers between high-rise tables under a roof anchored by rustic wooden rafters. Splash in the savory waters of seafood selections, including tiger shrimp ($14), stuffed squid ($6), and roasted John Dory ($12), whose eye spot observes diners to see if they know the difference between a salad fork and a tuning fork. Poultry dishes abound, wrapping succulent duck meat into soft tacos ($7) and igniting chicken wings with adobo spice ($8), and short ribs mind their beefy business under a sweet sprinkling of brown sugar and ginger ($18). Herbivorous hankerings plant themselves on crispy lentils ($6) or sautéed bok choy ($4), and asparagus ($8), cuddling under the calescent cover of serrano peppers to subvert chilly glares from the ice water.
Michael Dawson's resume looks a little different than that of the average winemaker. He earned degrees in biochemistry and cell biology, and went on to complete his medical degree and work in radiology. But as any grape-expert will tell you, viticulture is a scientific process?and Michael has proven himself more than up for the task. He draws on his technological background while bottling chardonnay, pinot noir, white rhone varietals, and other boutique wines for Seal Beach Winery. Those unique quaffs are available to sample in the tasting room, which also stocks bottles ready for visitors to take home and politely refuse to share. Those who aren't sure which bottle to select can opt to join the Wine Club in which Seal Beach Winery does the choosing for you. Customers can also take home merchandise such as wine-themed gift baskets, aerators, and tasting trays.
Art isn't confined to paintings and sculptures in museums and galleries. That's the idea behind Body Art Expo, a celebration of art on a different type of canvas?the body. At the traveling event, more than 200 exhibitors and thousands of guests put their tattoos and piercings on full display. Guests can enter tattoo contest for a chance to win in categories such as Best Movie Character, Best Portrait, and Most Unusual. They can also get a professional to pierce their tongue or tattoo the event's schedule on their bicep. Celebrity artists, including LA Ink's Ruthless and NY Ink's Tommy Montoya, often roam the aisles, chatting with visitors, dancing along to live music, or attending demos.
“Marylle Koken is fantastic at performing major transformations with ease," says InStyle magazine. "Koken is one of the nation’s top performing media artists in hair making today," raves SalonCity. While most salon owners would revel in a single glowing review, The Harlot Salon’s owner, Marylle Koken, has had them rolling in since her career began at the tender age of 19. After growing up in Holland and training in France, she traveled to the United States to embark upon a storied career. Now, thanks to her reputation for spellbinding styles, she counts The Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Juliette Binoche, Claudia Schiffer, and Jack Nicholson as clients at her Parisian-themed salon.
Complimentary cookies, champagne, and cappuccino welcome guests into The Harlot, where they kick back in soft, leather chairs as they await treatments with Marylle or one of the salon’s other star stylists. Not to be outdone by their lauded leader, the staff also flaunts impressive resumés that include styling for LA Fashion Week and fitting the Hollywood sign for its new wig. With the help of Sebastian Professional and Moroccanoil products, they perform a traditional list of hair services with untraditional flair.