Whether patients speak English or Spanish, there's little chance they'll have trouble communicating at Salud Digna. That's because Dr. Sergio Ortiz, the 20-year optometry veteran who runs the office, works with an entirely bilingual staff. During comprehensive eye exams, Dr. Ortiz checks vision and screens for diseases from cataracts to diabetes. Staffers then help patients select from a supply of frames that includes styles from Ray-Ban, DKNY, and Anne Klein.
Exams aside, the team does good for more than just the eyes. Licensed as a community clinic by the state of California, Salud provides high-quality optometry on a flexible scale, allowing them to help as many people as possible and ensuring that every customer who chooses them is helping to get others affordable eye care.
Dr. Scott Lam administers eye exams with a focus on patient education, carefully explaining the different steps for determining a prescription and finding symptoms of damage or disease. After taking a peek at their peepers, he leads guests to the office's showroom, where he and his staff help them pick stylish frames. Instead of concentrating solely on fit, they discuss the client's tastes and lifestyle, hunting down the best match from popular brands and daring boutiques. From classic Coach and Ray-Ban frames to vintage-style specs from Mandalay in Japan, their inventory spans the fashion spectrum.
Dr. Lam also applies his expertise to services that don't focus solely on spectacles. He performs contact-lens fittings, LASIK consultations, and exams for children. Whether searching for signs of glaucoma or helping clients finally read the corny jokes inscribed on the head of every sewing pin, he prioritizes an inviting, customized style of care. Visitors are even allowed to choose from one of five languages: English, Cantonese Chinese, Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese, and Spanish.
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.
From the wall art depicting a Venice Beach taqueria to the back parking lot, fashioned with deck furniture and transformed into a patio, Rider Shack Surf and Skate Shop brings that laid-back, beachside vibe to a busy stretch of Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles. While the namesake skateboards and surfboards take up racks of space, the shop also carries a wide selection of sunglasses, a wall full of TOMS slip-on shoes and clothes from surfer-friendly brands like Hurley, Billabong and Rip Curl. Rider Shack Surf and Skate Shop also repairs and rents out surfboards to the surrounding neighborhood, and offers free in-store fitness and yoga classes on select dates.
Melamed Eye Care’s experienced optometrist Dr. Fouad Melamed assesses acuity while searching for ocular diseases. He is also certified in the treatment of glaucoma, which is a rarity among optometrists. Dr. Fouad allies himself with Dr. Elliot Vaupen—the former president of the Los Angeles County Optometric Society—at an eye boutique stocked with frames from Coach, Vera Wang, Gucci, and other top name brands. The boutique also carries specialized lenses such as anti-reflective lenses and polarized spectacle lenses, which improve visibility by reducing glare caused by sunbeams and smiles from pageant queens.
Since 1999, Lux Eyewear has been offering a constantly updated inventory of more than 2,000 designer styles. Friendly staff members guide customers through a cornucopia of high-end brand-name shades by design houses such as Ray-Ban, Celine Eyewear, Chanel, Tom Ford, Versace, Persol, and Tiffany, prompting customers to retire the tinted SUV windshields they may have been holding in front of their faces.