Coldwater Salon and Day Spa
STUDIO CITY — Though The Center at Coldwater isn't yet bustling with dozens of shops, it's a relaxing place to languish during a lazy afternoon dedicated to total self-indulgence. Located at Ventura Boulevard at Coldwater Canyon Avenue, it is a welcome reprieve from the bustling "Coldwater Curve, " the bend that takes drivers into the dense Laurel Canyon shopping area.
Noon: Why not start by unloading tension? At d'amantte salon and day spa, the therapeutic stress-reduction service is just what the doctor ordered. It's designed to alleviate pressure in the spine area. The treatment, appropriate for men and women, begins with a combination of massage and acupressure applied to the back. New Age music is played and an aromatic candle is burned while senior esthetician Claire Westaway rubs in essential oils with mandarin orange, lavender and basil scents. Westaway then moves to the back of the neck, the scalp, shoulders, kidneys, hands and arms-until the entire body is jelly-like. She finishes with a massage to drain the lymph areas and can include foot rubs, if desired. The 45-minute treatment costs $50.
12930 Ventura Blvd., No. 220, (818) 501-7778.
12:45 p.m.: Now that you have been satiated with the satisfying sense of touch, it's time to gratify your sense of smell and taste at the Bistro Garden at Coldwater. Take in a leisurely lunch at a table near the windows, adorned with flocked lace curtains. Favorite items of the ladies who lunch include Cobb and Chinese chicken salad, spinach and ricotta ravioli, Louisiana crab cakes and stuffed breast of chicken. This isn't a place to count pennies-entrees start at $14.50.
12950 Ventura Blvd., (818) 501-2244.
1:55 p.m.: Move along the sensual path to Ron Ross, to delight the eye with apparel and accessories for men, women and children. If tales of hefty price tags have kept you from wandering in, rush through the doors for a few pleasant surprises. The 15, 000-square-foot store does have some affordable merchandise among the dreamier designer ensembles from Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and other master couturiers. Plan to spend about 45 minutes to check out the split-level space. It's divided into several sequestered mini-stores dedicated to grooming, accessory and clothing items.
At the entrance is Esscentials, where fragrances for men, women and the home are elegantly displayed. There are famous scents by Annick Goutal, as well as essential oils from Neal's Yard, a line of oils found in better fragrance boutiques. Prices range from $6 for a bar of soap to $225 for a vintage suitcase adorned with travel stickers and other nostalgic trims.
Just to the right, the women's clothing and accessory areas begin. Casual sportswear from CK Calvin Klein and other bridge-price vendors are featured. An Edwardian rayon blouse checks in at $130. Handmade jeweled chokers are $70. The Future Ozbek line is featured, as well as other offbeat designer lines not found in your run-of-the-mill Valley boutiques.
Kids are housed in a completely separate room of funky apparel, some toys and vintage books. The merchandise mix is more whimsical than basic. There are harlequin jumpers, Western vests, baroque dresses and accessories to match. Prices vary. A pair of socks costs about $4, while an entire layette from the Earthling line is $92.
The entire lower floor is dedicated to menswear. The vast selection is almost eye-boggling. Armani, Miyake, Richard Tyler, Thierry Mugler, Calvin Klein and the Comme des Garcons lines are a few of the names. There are suits, casual sports coats, ties, undergarments and made-to-order shirts and suits. Formal wear is also featured. Prices range from $14 for a pair of socks to $4, 000 for a handmade Italian/Malaysian suit.
12930 Ventura Blvd., (818) 788-8700.
2:40 p.m.: Indulge your spiritual senses at Chimayo, a short walk across the street and slightly west of the center. The store has a potpourri of ethnic accessories and furnishings from Mexico. A pair of candlesticks selling for $35 could be found for twice that in mall stores. Prices range from 50 cents for a Christmas ornament to $4, 000 for a large, elaborate wood carving.