Audio/Visual Products and Services
Aspiring Hitchcocks, Kubricks and Ansel Adamses flock to Keeble & Shuchat Photography, long a destination among amateurs and professionals for audio-visual gear from camcorders to SLR lenses. Classes, large-format and canvas prints, digital and photo labs, photo restoration and video transfers are some of the red-carpet services offered. 290 S. California Ave., Palo Alto; 800-854-8996.
For 38 years, Larry's Auto Works has provided the type of auto repair that gives its customers peace of mind, and those customers have voted the body shop best auto repair for 2010. Owner Larry Moore said his customers have told him they keep coming back because of the honest and trustworthy service and that "we don't try to sell them things they don't need." 2526 Leghorn St., Mountain View; 650-492-5443.
Got a crick in your neck? A kink in your spine? A knot in your knee? You may want to follow Weekly readers' advice and head to Health Logic, this year's winning chiropractic clinic. In addition to standard chiropractic adjustments, the doctors at Health Logic also offer nutritional advice and postural analysis. Readers gave Peak Performance the second-place prize. 633 Menlo Ave., Suite 100, Menlo Park; 650-853-1800.
So your co-star's thrown a temper tantrum, the director's had a nervous breakdown and your agent tells you he wants you to star opposite that guy who played Urkel in "Family Matters." Oh, what is the world coming to? No worries, dear starlet -- Destino Spa knows how to treat you right with massages, organic facials and other luxuries. In short, it's all about you. Just as the world should be. 4335 West El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650-947-0203.
Never mind her acting skills or diction. How is the latest starlet's smile? With the rabid demand in Hollywood for the whitest, straightest teeth, a silver-screen type has to have a stellar dentist. Weekly readers advise visiting the Palo Alto Dental Group, a group of six dentists based on Byron Street. Coming in second place was McKenna Dentistry. 511 Byron St., Palo Alto; 650-323-1381.
If it's AJ's clean, it's AJ's green. Getting in sync with Palo Alto's environmental sensibility, Chris Choi turned AJ's Quick Clean Center into a green business five years ago, forsaking perchlorethylene as a cleanser in favor of the more earth-friendly liquid silicone. The newer method is odorless and leaves clothes free of static cling, Choi says. 3175 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; 650-494-1550.
Hall of Fame: First Year
For years,Charleston Cleaners, in a free-standing building at the corner of Middlefield and Charleston roads, has been a neighborhood and city-wide favorite. In the rare case when you have to stand in line with your laundry, there are magazines to read and interesting memorabilia on the walls. And Hershey's chocolate kisses for all. 3900 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; 650-424-1113.
Readers singled out the Palo Alto Family YMCA in this category, and also chose it as Best Gym (see the full write-up there). A close second for Fitness Classes was Poised Fitness.
OK, so not everyone's headshot leads to a movie role. But University Art has the perfect 8-by-10 frame (or was that 11-by-14?) to enhance any photo. We non-starlets just want a good artistic eye to choose matting (how wide?), frame molding (or not?) and covering (clear glass, frosted glass, Plexiglas?). The flagship store has been located downtown since 1964, drawing its fans from local artists and people who just want to display their art well. 267 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto; 650-328-3500.
Getting fit is not just for action heroes like Jet Li and Jason Statham. Everyone deserves a healthy lifestyle, and this year's "Best Of" voters have chosen the Palo Alto Family YMCA as the top place to exercise and stay in shape. The Ross Road YMCA features an array of cardio and weight-training machines, lap and instructional pools, a large basketball court and a colorful "KidZone." 3412 Ross Road, Palo Alto; 650-856-9622.
Every hairdresser has a story at Hair International in Stanford Shopping Center. Owner Pam Decharo runs a bustling, friendly shop, open evenings and weekends with no appointment required. Reflecting her clientele, Decharo's stable of hairdressers is from all over the world. If you're lucky, your stylist might share a Persian recipe or tell you about their story of arriving in America. 232 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto; 650-324-2007.
With its French doors, Italian linens, Mediterranean-style courtyard and 62 rooms redesigned this year by Spanish interior designer Pablo Paniagua, the Garden Court Hotel oozes European charm. But it also offers its guests some distinctly Palo Alto touches, including iPhone-docking stations and key cards that control energy use. 520 Cowper St., Palo Alto; 650-322-9000.
Manicure/Pedicure and Massage
The winner in these categories, Destino Spa, also won for Best Day Spa; see the listing in that category.
Hall of Fame (Manicure/Pedicure): Second Year
Chances are, you've got more class than Lindsay Lohan. So regardless of whether you're an action-movie star or a genteel period-piece player, you want elegant nails. La Belle Day Spa is a popular choice for the mani-pedi combo, complete with a fruit-paraffin treatment. Even the loftiest judge would be impressed. 95 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto; 650-327-6964. 36 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto; 650-326-8522.
Hall of Fame (Massage): First Year
"Watercourse Way was inspired by the natural hot springs of Tassajara," co-manager Nathan Hanley says. Visitors enjoy the spa's quiet, peaceful ambience during massages and can opt for a hot stone or couples massage or more. 165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto; 650-462-2000.
Hair International also took the reader prize for Best Hair Salon overall; see that listing above.
One of the new Best Of categories this year is Best Orthodontist. Weekly readers voted for Stacey Quo of Mid Peninsula Orthodontics. Quo has degrees from the school of dentistry at the University of California at San Francisco and started her own practice in Palo Alto in 1997. Readers might also catch her lecturing at Stanford's Sleep Disorders Clinic. 965 High St., Palo Alto; 650-328-1600.
Personal Trainer/Fitness Program
"Attitude is everything," declares the website of Poised, a women-oriented personal-training and "lifestyle-consulting" business in Menlo Park. Cheerful co-owners Jill Plant and Yvonne Tally seem to reflect the stated goals of this enterprise. Poised offers Pilates and core-strength-oriented programs, as well as outdoor training and a class called "Strengthage" -- "designed for mature clients or those with chronic limitations." 209 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; 650-566-1388.
If you can say "Yes" to any of the frequently asked questions on the Dave's Custom Plumbing website (Wet spots under the sink? Low water pressure in the shower? Is there rust on your water heater?), it might be time to call Dave. Site testimonials include: "Running a start-up company is tough in itself but when the only sink in our building clogged and our dishwasher started leaking while we were making a funding presentation, there was only one company we would call." Palo Alto, 650-323-3112.
"Cobbler, cobbler, mend my shoe -- and my old purse and my ratty belt and every other favorite leather item that I can't bear to part with." If that's your mantra, then Robert Babekian is your man. Proprietor of Midtown Shoe Repair, Babekian has droves of followers who praise his ability to breathe new life into tired Ferragamos and Jimmy Choos. Customers call his prices quite reasonable, to boot. 2796 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto; 650-329-8171.
Stars can Photoshop laugh lines away, or request that special filter on the movie-camera lens. Still, it would be nice to have a smooth-looking mug underneath all that Hollywood magic. So if a star swans into Palo Alto, he or she might visit Skin Spirit downtown. Services offered include chemical peels, Botox, microdermabrasion and dermal fillers. 701 Emerson St., Palo Alto; 650-324-9600.
It's happened to all of us. Lost hotel reservations, activities that don't quite live up to their Internet descriptions, that moment of realization as you step off the plane that it's, um, monsoon season -- these are otherwise known as vacation disasters. To help ensure that their trips are unforgettable in the best sense of the word, Weekly readers turn to Cardoza-Bungey Travel to seek advice and learn about good deals. Just don't forget the camera. 550 Hamilton Ave., Suite 125, Palo Alto; 650-325-5600.
In the quaint and bustling California Avenue business district, Hotel California offers serious bargains to its guests. The hotel features an inviting courtyard and 20 rooms, all equipped with the standard amenities: television, private bath and telephones. The only thing that's not standard is the rates. With rooms starting at $85 a night, Hotel California is a bargain-hunter's paradise. A close second place was the Stanford Motor Inn. 2431 Ash St., Palo Alto; 650-322-7666.
Pets are the stars at Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital, which includes the Animal Gallery of pet art located around the corner. The office's team of dedicated veterinarians includes specialists in emergency medicine, exotic animals, dermatology, acupuncture and alternative medicine. Boarding, house calls and weekend appointments are its other services. The Animal Doctor came in a close second. 1125 Merrill St., Menlo Park; 650-325-5671.
Hall of Fame: First Year
After 45 years of offering top-notch 24/7 veterinary care to creatures of all types, the ever-popular Adobe Animal Hospital has moved on up. This month, Adobe relocated to a new building (the former site of Elephant Pharm) and now has more room and amenities for its clients and critter customers. 4470 El Camino Real, Los Altos; 650-948-9661.
It might be a headless headstand kind of day, or perhaps you just want to breathe deeply in child's pose for a while. Either way, there's a class for that. Darshana Yoga has a variety of class offerings including Beginner and Gentle Yoga, Restorative and Advanced. Bring your best reverse half moon and stay a spell in this sunny downtown studio. 654 High St., Palo Alto; 650-325-9642.