On the Road at Mimosa Salon in Hermosa Beach, Calif.

While this column is usually reserved for salon visits made while away from home, sometimes we like to see what is right in our backyard. I live in Hermosa Beach, a small beach town located about 20 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles. It’s the kind of place where you can park your car on a Friday afternoon and not have to get back into it until the following Monday morning to drive to work. Everyone rides their bikes or walks all over town. (The town only covers about 1.3 square miles.) It was precisely while taking a walk (really an Art Walk, where local artists had their works on display) that I happened upon Mimosa Salon.

Located in what used to be a doctor’s office, Mimosa was opened a little less than a year ago by hairstylist Mike Daneshmand. His three daughters all work there (two are hairstylists and one is an esthetician and the salon manager). The salon, whose neighbours include surf shops, restaurants, and other boutiques, is open and airy with a definite modern feel. In addition to several hair stations up front, the salon houses a large boutique area with everything from hair and skin care products to perfumes, trendy jewelry; and handbags. The nail area, located in the center of the salon, houses a three-station nail bar and two custom-made pedicure stations (both with their own running water and detachable faucet).

My Mandarin & Lavender Pedicure was with Karla Moran, a newly licensed cosmetologist who does manicures and pedicures, as well as makeup and up-dos. The service began with a lavender-scented soak complete with orange slices After Karla cleaned, buffed, and filed my toenails, I received an exfoliation, two masks (a mud-type mask and a super-hydrating mask), and a leg massage. The salon uses a combination of skin care products and professional nail products. Before I arrived, Karla placed single-serve amounts of each product she was using in small Asian-style dishes. As she worked, Karla explained what each step was and took her time to make sure she was thorough. It was, by far, one of the best pedicures I have ever had—and I’ve had a lot of pedicures. And the price — $35 for an hour service—was unbeatable.

While I’m not usually one to turn down a great deal, I urged Karla to talk to her manager about raising their service prices. Bottom line, they use high-quality products and offer an amazing experience. They can get much more than what they are charging. For now though, I will be happy to pay $35 for what should be a $65 service.

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