At Vada Spa, staff members devote their international training to beauty rituals that use natural and organic products from GM Collins and Pevonia Botanica. Two floors accommodate spacious mani-pedi bars, styling stations, and private, candle-lit treatment rooms that all swirl with activity until 9 p.m. every day. The owners of the Spa make sure that each service is administered by a true specialist––laser technicians only do laser procedures and aestheticians never hand over their facial duties to an assistant or nearby welder. "We're very particular about who we hire," one of the spa owners says. "It has to be someone who's experienced. We don't have anyone here who's just starting out or fresh out of school."
Since their mission is to be a one-stop destination for head-to-toe spa services, Vada's owners do their best to reserve hairstyling chairs and treatment rooms for walk-in customers. They also pride themselves on their expertise with the male aesthetic, offering a lineup of guy-specific spa services including back facials, shoulder waxing, and spare-tire rotations.
The tradition of Sonny Bryan’s award-winning barbecue started more than a century ago on February 13, a date that would become circled on the calendar again and again throughout Bryan’s Barbecue history. February 13, 1910, marked the opening of Elias Bryan’s Oak Cliff restaurant, Bryan's Barbecue. Exactly 20 years later to the day, his eldest son, William “Red” Jennings Bryan, launched his own restaurant. When February 13 rolled around again 28 years later, Elias’ grandson, William "Sonny" Jennings Bryan Jr., and his wife, Joanne, opened another restaurant, the first Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse.
Although a different Dallas family now manages multiple locations of the restaurant chain in Utah and the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the legendary barbecue lives on. Sonny Bryan's original barbecue sauce spices up its savory pulled meats and ribs, which have been devoured by US presidents, famous entertainers, sports legends, and A-list animated Disney characters alike. Sonny's seasoned chefs also cater heaps of fresh brisket and smoked chicken to parties and events.
Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse has been on the culinary radar since 1989, snapping up awards and publicity from Food Network, the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food Nation, and Emeril Lagasse’s The Originals with Emeril. The modest joints have also earned some highbrow epicurean chops through a 2006 Zagat rating and a 2000 James Beard Foundation award for Culinary Excellence and Achievement.
Culinary Connection curates handmade home goods and recycled sculptures. An Italian handmade Medici dinner plate with painted fleur-de-lis ($40) makes a bold statement while also making up for a chef's poor pronunciation of italian pastas. Sparkling home decor includes candles ($33–$329) and candle holders ($48–$78) and hand-blown glass decanters ($75 each), which can aerate an entire bottle of wine in two minutes. And on the purely aesthetic end, a one-of-a-kind Baby Longhorn yard stake ($29)—constructed out of recycled metal—adds orange hues to any yard, garden, or low-maintenance petting zoo.
Father-and-son team Robert and Fred Lee worked as homebuilders for years before going into business selling lights in 1965, so they knew how quickly something impressive could rise from a humble foundation. Sure enough, Lee Lighting, their small family company, grew to include a vast online retail shop and one of the largest lighting dealers in Texas. They've even purchased Savoy, a company that designs fixtures to bring cheer to dining rooms and make rooms full of ventriloquist dummies less terrifying.
Lee Lighting stocks shelves with a diverse selection of indoor lamps from brands including ELK Lighting, Quoizel, and Hudson Valley. Staffers certified by the American Lighting Association move beneath the dazzling crystal sprays and faux candles of chandeliers. They suggest outdoor lighting to transform backyards into regal terraces. They also stay abreast of lighting trends to help patrons select lights that will stay in style.