During his training at King's College Hospital in London, Claude Matar mastered the old-fashioned art of listening. Today, he still believes that the key to providing a successful diagnosis lies in taking the proper time and energy to listen to each client's concerns. Though he no longer practices medicine, the nutritionist, board-certified naturopathic physician, and founder of Pasadena Weight Loss Center has used his ears and his education to help thousands of clients achieve their individual health goals, including former Dallas star Linda Gray and professional football champ Dwight Hicks.
To help clients shed inches, he utilizes the highly personalized Matar method, a system he believes offers patients their best chances for long-lasting results. It begins with an in-depth evaluation including a nutrient analysis, thyroid tests, and identification of any factors inhibiting weight loss. Matar then consults with the client to develop a plan focused not only on diet and exercise but also on strategies for improved sleep, hydration, and detoxification. He and his staff stay in daily contact to answer questions regarding progress or tips for turning uneaten bear claws into table art and will also reevaluate clients' success at a weekly face-to-face meeting.
One couple commands the hardwood dance floor, strutting under colored lights and glass chandeliers as well-wishers cheer them on from iron-wrought balcony railings, or wander across the foyer’s marble floors on their way to the intricately carved dark-wood bar. The Sofia ballroom, one of the many venues at Noor, host the reception hall’s memory-making parties, which range from weddings to performances by Pasadena Symphony pianists. The hall’s attentive staffers also oversee gatherings beneath the Ella ballroom’s crystal chandeliers or on the terrace patio, where a circle of white curtains and climbing ivy surrounds a starburst-shaped mosaic-tile fountain that gurgles compliments to passing glasses of champagne.
A resident culinary crew feeds the hall’s hungry revelers with Mediterranean-Californian fusion dishes. Noor's chefs devise many of their tapas-style dishes in the reservation-only Ella restaurant, and frequently feature seasonal, locally grown ingredients. Eclectic seating varies throughout Noor's rooms, from lounge sofas and armchairs to high-backed formal dinner chairs, blending modern and vintage aesthetics more smoothly than photos of Benjamin Franklin wearing a Members Only jacket.
Magical Playground gathers play structures, toys, games, and kid-friendly activities within an indoor, socks-only facility. Tykes can bound about in the Magical castle bouncer, navigate their way through the jungle gym, ascend levels in challenging video games, or compete against their pals in rounds of air hockey or foosball. In between frolicking sessions, they can reenergize with healthy meals and snacks in the eating area. A separate baby-development center accommodates visiting toddlers with an age-appropriate bouncer and slide, as well as educational toys such as dolls that quote Nietzsche whenever you squeeze their toes.
Alongside regular open-play sessions, Magical Playground hosts weekly events including Tuesday arts and crafts, a complimentary Wednesday-afternoon story time, and free Spanish lessons every Friday. As their kids bounce between activities, parents can surf the web via free WiFi or leave their children at Magical Playground for supervised games, movie nights, and playtime between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. any night of the week.
In 1989, a pair of bakers founded the Three Dog Bakery with nothing but a $.59 biscuit cutter and three canine taste-testers. For decades, these humans have committed themselves to creating savory treats for pets with all-natural ingredients and a slow-baked process that locks in flavors and nutrients that dogs crave. Good Morning America profiled the shop in 2011 in a piece about gourmet pet treats, highlighting their personalized cakes made without butter, salt, or artificial colorings of any kind to fit in a healthy pet's diet. The selection includes playful baked goods ranging from snickerpoodle cookies to frosted pupcakes, as well as items they could chew on for days, such as plush toys, elk antlers, and new essays by Malcolm Gladwell. Customers can find healthy eats and helpful accessories at Three Dog's two locations in Pasadena and inside Los Angeles' World Famous Farmer's Market.
FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.
The instructors of French Kiss Fitness model their group classes after the acts of performers such as Pink, the pop star who thrilled audiences at the 2010 Grammys with a dance routine derived from circus acrobatics. Like a dark room plastered with Lou Ferrigno posters, the studio's workout style both develops and shows off muscle. Fourteen poles support physiques as they execute moves that build core strength; off the pole, students learn floor- or chair-based routines to replicate at home. Aerial classes build center strength with the help of silk ropes, dangling hoops, and a trapeze. For more traditional workouts, students can attend core-strengthening Pilates classes or yoga classes to relax the mind and body.