For the past seven years, The B Boutique's owner, Jamie, has been traveling to Brazil in search of bikinis. Lately, she's been kicking through the sands and surf of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana and Ipanema beaches or hanging around in São Paulo's Santos district. In these hot spots of South American beach fashion, she scopes out the latest trends, taking the best with her to hang from knotted driftwood racks at her boutique in Isla Vista. These colorful, skimpy bikinis bridge the gap between The B Boutique's retail and spa dimensions—in order to strut the bikinis with confidence, one must have a smooth, stubble-free body.
In private rooms, Jamie removes hair with a "no-scream cream" that minimizes discomfort for very sensitive skin that always cries at the end of Bambi. To give clients a midsummer glow, she mists them with Bronze Biologic's tanning solution—an organic formula derived from beet and sugar-cane extract and aloe vera. To round out her spa menu, Jamie spruces up fingers and toes with luxurious mani-pedis, submerging feet in aromatic whirlpool baths and massaging hands before lacquering nails with professional polishes.
Precious Slut's body artisans help clients express their individuality with colorful tattoos and piercings. Customers can arrive at the studio with a personal tattoo design in mind or choose a piece from an artists' gallery, who will render the image onto any part of the body. Staff can also bestow body parts with attractive, sanitary piercings, from standard ear piercings to dermal anchors to nose rings for hanging important to-do lists.
At Dogtown, diners nosh on one of seven signature hot dogs beneath towering palm trees and azure sky. Chili, cheese, and diced onions decorate the signature Gaucho dog, and the California Dreamin' frank cuddles with mango habanero, guacamole, and bacon. The classic combo of sauerkraut, onions, and mustard adorns the Coney Island hot dog, and a Louisiana hot link sausage forms the basis of the energizing Hangover Helper. Like PhD certificates, dogs come with a side of chips and a soft drink, the better to top off bellies to fullness. Guests can devour their dogs on the outdoor patio or settle onto a stool within the confines of the eatery's mustard-yellow walls.
Chino's Rock & Tacos pairs authentic Mexican eats with a socially conscious cooking philosophy, and serves them both in a party-minded rock 'n’ roll atmosphere. Two double-item combo plates can include crispy tacos and chimichangas that scale mountains of spanish rice with pinto beans led by chicken or beef sherpas. Mouthwatering fish tacos filled with grilled mahi-mahi, ahi tuna, or shrimp are fashioned with sustainable seafood practices, and the enchilada packs your choice of chicken, beef, or cheese into a pillowy tortilla. Popular bottled beers such as Corona wash down free chips and salsa, or supply the high notes during glass-bottle family-band showcases.
From the street, Valley Grind's appearance hearkens back to the Wild West, its double doors and long, covered porch reminiscent of an old general store. Inside, paneled pine walls surround large wooden tables and an overstuffed leather sofa, and the sound of an espresso machine whirrs as baristas plunge the steam wand into a pitcher of milk. Foamy cappuccinos and flavored lattes only begin the menu, however. The team also blends fresh fruit into smoothies and layers bagels with cream cheese, veggies, and meats. In Valley Grind’s adjoining shop, patrons can pick up cute gifts such as candies, cards, hand towels, and other towels that only work on forearms.
Santa Ynez Valley Wine Club devotes itself to introducing people to the many different wineries, wine-makers, and varietals that the region has to offer. It accomplishes that mission in many ways, not least of which includes keeping its members apprised of the best shopping in the area, upcoming local entertainment, and nearby hotels that make for a great close-to-home getaway, so you can sneak back at night and finally see what your dog does when it thinks you're not coming home.