For more than a decade, physical therapist Amy Fischer helped clients recover from a range of orthopedic and sport injuries. These days, she blends her knowledge of the body with her passion for Pilates at her two Pure Pilates studios—one in Laguna Niguel and the other in Ladera Ranch—each of which host regular classes alongside specialized sessions for golfers, breast cancer survivors, and moms-to-be.
Surrounded by tranquil Asian-inspired décor, Amy and her team of instructors guide students of all levels through private and group Pilates classes, which aim to strengthen core muscles while improving flexibility and posture. After being divvied up into Level 1 or Level 2–3 sections, students learn a variety of exercises on a reformer machine built from adjustable ropes, pulleys, and springboards reclaimed from the days of vaudeville. Amy and her team also offer slower-paced courses for seniors as well as physical therapy sessions that speed healing with modified Pilates exercises paired with a personalized at-home exercise program.
When stodgy waxing technicians refused to perform Brazilian waxes on her, Valerie Iourtchenko learned to do them herself, developing a unique approach that she soon shared with dozens of friends. After attending medical school in her native Russia and starting a new life in Canada, Valerie attained her aesthetics license and began working her smoothing magic on a steadily growing client base. Since then, she's opened Rescue Skin Care & Waxing Studio in Vancouver as well as two sister locations in southern California?all of which have been praised by the media for their tranquil atmospheres and effective service regimens. Though the company's claim to fame is waxing, which staffers perform with medical spatulas and 100% Egyptian cotton muslin, it also eases skin-based issues such as blemishes and freckles arranged to spell off-color jokes through more than a dozen specialized facials that harness ?minence and DCL products.
ElliptiFitOC's fleet of StreetStrider cycles combines the unique riding maneuvers of a traditional elliptical machine with the mechanics of an outdoor bicycle, freeing the once immobile elliptical from a stuffy indoor existence while fostering low-impact, cardiovascular workouts that engage all muscle groups. Riders cruise under the cover of umbrella-like palm leaves as they step and glide through courses that carve past the glassy waters of Santa Margarita Lake or the flying monkey trees of Barbadanes Park. Each riding session lasts 45 minutes and allows exercisers to glide at their own pace or race against the clock to see how many laps they can complete. Riders must be 12 or older and can schedule a group ride or private, one-on-one lesson by clicking here.
Fitness expert Christina Lucy founded Code Pink Boot Camp and has since expanded her fitness program into numerous locations throughout the western United States. Each of the trainers working for Code Pink claims extensive training and accredited certifications in the industry, and must undergo a strict audition to demonstrate their fitness prowess and knowledge of how many annual budgets each U.S. president could bench-press. With a schedule that includes several sessions throughout the weekday, the classes accommodate clients with varying schedules. During each session, instructors guide participants through high-intensity exercises that aim to incinerate fat, tone torsos, and improve overall well-being. The program caters to women of all ages and fitness levels and stresses safety, fun, and perseverance.
The family that owns Tacos and Company is dedicated to authenticity. Since they opened the first of their three locations in 1991, they've been crafting burritos, seafood tacos, and steaks by drawing upon techniques honed at Mexico's food stands, rural kitchens, and guacamole rivers. Fresh produce and seafood, lard-free beans, and premium meats—like slow-cooked carnitas—join up with house marinade and daily made salsas. Every single corn chip lands on a plate the day it emerges from the fryer. Vegetarian options abound, too. The eatery's catering skills are praised by clients.
The bread pans and baking trays begin clattering early at Cinnamon Productions, announcing the bakers’ 4 a.m. arrival. It’s during these hours before dawn that the bakery’s team brings everything from sandwich bread to signature cinnamon rolls, which they pepper with actual ground cinnamon, to golden brown fruition. Once out of the oven, the freshly made goods crowd the eatery’s display case, tempting patrons to pair them with cups of coffee, scrambled eggs, or one of seven gourmet sandwiches. Every now and then, one of the staffers will pluck a few of the fresh cinnamon rolls to create a catering order, gift basket, or convincing Princess Leia headpiece.