At Ring of Fire Martial Arts Academy, most of the instructors are amateur or professional fighters who blend a quartet of hapkido, muay thai, boxing, and kickboxing into fitness sessions. These classes boast resistance training that can help burn fat, tone muscle, and increase endurance and stamina along with flexibility.
At Bellisima Salon & Day Spa, the aestheticians offer more than a dozen facials. There's one designed specifically for men, and another for teens. There's a pumpkin spice facial that minimizes fine lines and smells like fall. And during the hydration facial, the aesthetician soothes dry skin with aloe and rose hips, instead of taping a sprinkler to the client's forehead.
Facials are just one of the treatments in the team's arsenal of relaxing and beautifying treatments. However, the sheer number of facials illustrates the team's belief that no two clients are exactly alike?so the more choices, the better. In all their other services, from massages to permanent makeup to hairstyling, the experts offer a similarly wide array of options, and welcome requests for customization.
Since its modest beginnings as a three-table Arcadia eatery, Starlight Express Chinese Food has expanded into an Old Town Monrovia venue packed with a large dining area, a steam table of quick-serve Chinese favorites, and an array of cooked-to-order specialties. Inside the kitchen, chefs prepare shrimp with black-bean sauce alongside plates of spicy kung pao scallops and sweet-and-sour chicken. The chefs' healthier steamed-veggie dishes fill niches in low-sodium diets. Blue pendant lamps light dining-room tables, and red paper fans and framed Chinese characters adorn the walls, with translations meaning "luck," "dragon," and "remember to buy eggs."
"Our brain is designed to realize what we wish, without any minor errors," says Ilchi Lee, the founder of Dahn Yoga. "If you want success, it will create success. If you want happiness or health, it will create them. Anything is possible, as long as negative thoughts and emotions don't interfere."
To make this philosophy accessible to all, Lee combined the Eastern concept of dahn?the Korean word for "life force" or "energy"?with his own brain-management system, developing a distinctive program designed to unlock inner peace and reverse the lack of focus caused by daily stresses in the office, at home, or when searching for Waldo. This fusion of life force and mind focus forms the basis of the studio's classes and consultations. In every class, warm-up maneuvers awaken muscles to prepare for 30?40-minute sessions of breathing, stretching, core practice, and meditation, which also include the studio's signature brain-wave vibration technique?a process that aims to calibrate mental and physical energies. Cooldown exercises ease the body back into quotidian functionality before a 10-minute teatime invites socialization among participants while bolstering pinkie endurance.
With pewter chandeliers, high ceilings, and crisp white booths and tablecloths, Opera establishes its sense of style before patrons even sit down. The space blends ultra-modern sensibilities with a tinge of old-world flair, hinting at an eclecticism that also informs the menu. Here, lunches and dinners can be inventive or familiar; casual or meticulous; served on a plate or served trailing behind a paper airplane flung from the kitchen. Cooks can do everything from prepare a simple spaghetti with homemade meatballs to elevate pan-fried sole with nut butter, field mushrooms, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. And they don't just stick to Italian cuisine, either?they also prepare Spanish paella and even gourmet tacos. This diverse approach applies to the dessert menu, as well. Customers can conclude their meal with the likes of classic American apple pie, Italian tiramisu, English bread pudding, or French cr?me br?l?e.
Hair and makeup artist Michelle Acevedo beautifies her clients using her advanced skills from training at Aveda, Bumble and bumble, Goldwell, and MAC Cosmetics. An expert colorist, Michelle uses detailed color application for consistent looks that have earned her many repeat clients in her 12 years in business. She's worked on hair and makeup for everything from weddings to runway projects, and is now based out of 1st Ave Hair Studio, an airy studio where lots of natural light pours in to give customers a good look at their new coifs.