With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
At Embassy Cigars, knowledgeable stogie scholars pair visitors with selections from the more than 200 high-quality cigar brands. Sink into a plush chair in the lounge, eye a flat-screen TV, and sip complimentary coffee as you puff a Cohiba Red Dot Crystal Tubos Corona ($18.95) or breathe in the powerful aromas of an Ashton Classic Magnum ($11). The roster of sophisticated smokables continues with Montecristo #2 ($16.95) and Macanudo Hyde Park Café ($9.95), which both provide excellent means for practicing smoke rings or showing off by blowing smoke Möbius strips. Embassy Cigars also stocks humidors, cigar cutters, lighters, and other accessories that aid in making plumes.
At the Brea Improv, comics lure laughs from deep within bellies as they follow in the footsteps of standup legends such as Ellen DeGeneres, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Dave Chappelle, all of whom have performed at the Improv’s chain of comedy clubs. The club's calendar schedules comedians as often as seven nights a week, alternating between big-name headliners and up-and-coming funsters who tickle funny bones with fresh material, abundant energy, and feathered reflex hammers. Comedy fans can also savor Brea Improv's recurring resident shows, such as Richard Villa's Refried Tuesdays, or Saturday night’s Slanted Comedy, one of the longest-running Asian-comedy shows in the family of Improv clubs. Audience members munch on savory appetizers, such as spinach-and-artichoke dip or fried calamari, while sipping cocktails to avoid eye contact with the giant rubber chicken sitting at the next table.
"Technique is everything," says Tricia Hetherington, licensed esthetician and owner of The Pretty Kitty, a chain of full-service waxing boutiques specializing in bare-all Brazilians. Tricia, who?s been profiled in Luxury Las Vegas and several additional press outlets, personally trains each staff member in her proprietary 10- to 15-minute hair-removal method, which employs high-quality soft wax that?s formulated for delicate flesh and minimizes pain. Her estheticians never double dip into the wax pot, reaching for a fresh stick with every application of the warm substance and leaving only a thin landing strip or functional tarmac in its wake. The Pretty Kitty's menu of services also includes facial and full-body waxing, and though walk-ins are welcome, appointments are recommended.
At Heavenly Couture, visitors shop chic clothes, accessories, and shoes from major department-store brands.?The one thing shoppers won't find, though, is department-store prices. The brand-new items are marked down up to 85% from their original list prices, thanks to the boutique's savvy bulk-buying practices.