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Known for their successful takeover of Hudson Bay Café, I Squared proprietors Sadri Madjlessi and Tanya Anderson partner with executive chef Nory Madjlessi to combine traditional Iranian and Italian fare into one bold menu. Chef Nory honed his Italian culinary skills under Giovanni LoCoco at LoCoco's and absorbed knowledge of traditional Iranian recipes and cooking techniques from his mother. Rather than attempting traditional fusion fare, Chef Nory aims to stay true to the flavors of both countries, filling I Squared's ever-changing menu with Iranian staples such as fesenjoon—a stew of chicken, walnuts, and saffron served over basmati rice—as well as Italian classics, such as eggplant parmigiana. Using local and sustainable ingredients when possible, Chef Nory preps his signature lamb-stuffed cabbage wraps as patrons peek in the open kitchen from their places at minimalist butcher-block-topped tables. A stainless-steel-topped bar holds a beginner's alchemy kit and the makings of specialty and dessert cocktails along with extensive wine and beer offerings.

5403 College Ave
Oakland,
CA
US

The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.

Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas without having them tattooed on your chest. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results. After-school and summer classes can ready high-schoolers for the rigors of the ACT or the SAT, or they can help students to wow college-admissions officers with their superior essay-writing skills.

1345 Grand Ave
Piedmont,
CA
US

If the air seems a little cleaner at Phoenix Rising Salon & Day Spa, it's not just your imagination. The fresh-oxygen-exchange system is just one of the amenities that make this space feel more welcoming that usual; others include fresh flowers and young bamboo trees at the door, vines snaking up the walls, and coral walls setting a serene mood.

Hairstylist Kayla takes advantage of the atmosphere to breathe new life into her clients' looks. She offers haircuts, coloring, and styling treatments while her colleagues administer nourishing facials and dole out massages for tense muscles and cranky funny bones. The staff uses products from Redken, Pureology, and Pevonia Skin Care during treatments, all of which are available for purchase.

6400 Moraga Avenue
Piedmont,
CA
US

Phoenix Rising Salon & Day Spa's stylists and aestheticians strive to create a soothing and welcoming place for their clients to have their beauty needs attended to. They welcome visitors with warm coral walls and flower-dotted decor, and offer services that cover the entire body. Skin services include an acne-fighting facial and relaxation comes in the form of a 75-minute hot-stone massage. Meanwhile, classic treatments range from hair-coloring services to pampering mani-pedis.

6400 Moraga Avenue
Piedmont,
CA
US

Kim Hastings is hair's worst enemy. The waxing specialist spends her days at the upscale Phoenix Rising Salon removing unwanted hair from clients’ bodies. She quickly eliminates hair across the body, from fuzz on upper lips to unwanted hair around bikini areas to fur on backs, which puts an end to being mistaken for Uncle Joe's toupee when prepping for family outings.

6400 Moraga Avenue
Piedmont,
CA
US

From the spectacular and grandiose?such as far-reaching telescopes that penetrate the cosmos and bring back crystal-clear views of the stars?to the most curious minutiae?think "space toilets" like those used by astronauts on the International Space Station?Chabot Space & Science Center captures the science, mystery, and grandeur of outer space in an interactive and educational setting.

The big picture comes courtesy of the observatory's three high-powered telescopes, which grant Chabot with its domed silhouette and provide visitors a privileged view of the stars during daytime and evening viewings. Things narrow in scope once you enter the museum, where interactive exhibits zero in on the smaller curiosities of space and Earth's relationship to it. The aforementioned space toilet is a part of the Beyond Blastoff exhibit, where spacesuits, space gear, and space food paint a picture of an astronaut's day-to-day life. One Giant Leap: A Moon Odyssey gives visitors another taste of space exploration, this time by putting them behind the controls of the original Mercury space capsule, then puts them face to face with a 3.3-billion-year-old moon rock collected during the Apollo 15 mission. Weather becomes more than something to curse at for canceling the ball game or flooding a meteorologist's basement once visitors enter Bill Nye's Climate Lab. There, kids tasked with saving the Earth from storms and melting ice sheets are too busy developing top-secret energy-saving devices to realize they might be learning something.

Chabot Space & Science Center also features shows such as LaserMania, a classic-rock-fueled spectacle where light and sound?a 360-degree cocoon of cutting-edge laser lights set to music by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and U2, specifically?team up for an explosive sensory experience.

10000 Skyline Blvd.
Oakland,
CA
US

Piedmont Scene