At Antica Olive Oils and Vinegars, the namesake cooking elixirs adhere to Italian standards stricter than the mothers who created them. The shop stocks a rotating inventory of more than 50 extra-virgin olive oils, which originate in Italy, Spain, Tunisia, and other exotic locales and bear the taste of olives crushed at the peak of harvest months. Creative flavors infuse each oil, with almonds, chipotle peppers, and Tuscan herbs lending their profiles to oil meant for sprinkling on salads or drinking straight out of a champagne flute. White and dark balsamic vinegars also emanate unique flavors–aged apricot, honey ginger, and lavender among them–but their journey to bottles is much longer. They steep in seasoned wood casks in Modena, Italy for up to 18 years and bubble over an open wood fire before immigrating stateside.
The certified trainers at 6 Degree Fitness believe that the best motivation for keeping up a gym routine is measurable results. Working to make their gym a welcoming, accessible place for everyone, regardless of fitness level, the professional staffers here offer intense personal training and group fitness sessions such as boot camp. Nutritional counseling is also available, helping members boost their metabolisms while they're shredding calories. The fitness center features a full array of weight-training and cardio machines—everything clients need to succeed along their path to better health.
After striking up a conversation at a stroller fitness class, Shelby Mirrotto and Tracy Cecola realized that with their combined education and fitness backgrounds, they, as parents themselves, could create a unique fitness experience for other parents. What came of the conversation is Move it Momma Fitness, a safe haven where moms (and dads, too) stay active and healthy without having to stress over finding childcare in order for them to workout. While parents are sculpting and toning muscles in group fitness classes such as Zumba or boot camp, the educated staff provides age-appropriate, educational, and interactive childcare services. Homework clubs, tutoring, arts, crafts & emerging reading/writing experiences are offered while parents and/or grandparents are participating in results-driven group exercise classes.
Namastey India looks like a small grocery store from the outside, but once inside, you’ll catch a delightful whiff of the OC Weekly's Best Indian Restaurant. According to the Los Angeles Times, owner, chef, and New Delhi transplant Ashish Pal grinds his own spices and bakes every batch of bread to order because he "wanted to do it authentic, do it right, do it the way it should be." Pal churns out regional fare such as channa batura, a spicy chickpea dish, as well as Indian staples, including samosas as perfectly crispy golden as if they were dipped in Midas’s fryer.
The confectioners at Christopher Michael Chocolates challenge the palate's expectations with inventive flavor combinations, often balancing a sweet base with savory accents. The complex treats begin their lives as simple, preservative-free ingredients, including fair-trade Venezuelan cacao beans, organic dairy from local farms, and homegrown herbs and citrus fruits.
Christopher Michael's renowned creations, which stole hearts from their position in the 51st Grammy Awards's gift baskets in 2009, include the Sizzling Bacon bar, which marries smoky bacon with sweet milk chocolate, and the Aztec Spiced bar, sizzling with chilies and cinnamon. Handcrafted and painted truffles burst on tongues with traditional and nontraditional flavor infusions, including chipotle and honey, rosemary and grapefruit, and caramelized banana.
In addition to slinging premade candies, the team shares its expertise by hosting regular classes, including truffle-making sessions, where students learn to temper chocolate and lick ganache out of the bowl while the instructor isn't looking, as well as courses in caramel and ice-cream creation.