spa

The Russian Baths Are Calling Your Name

Spin the wheel at La Brea Collective (stop 1) and get a treat in a brown baggie. To be enjoyed on your walk to City Spa (stop 2).

Spin the wheel at La Brea Collective (stop 1) and get a treat in a brown baggie. To be enjoyed on your walk to City Spa (stop 2).

Stop 1: Feed the Mind @ La Brea Collective

The massive building of La Brea Collective stands out like a Rastafarian beacon on Pico Blvd screaming your name. After walking in you are pleasantly greeted with the cool security and friendly vibes. Once you pass into the huge single room you’re greeted by some of the killer staff and shown to the goods. It’s happy hour so if you’re in the market for some weight they’ve got you covered. Within minutes you’re spinning the deal wheel and laughing with your crew as you collect your $1 joint. With little brown baggie in hand you head out with the perfect treat to satisfy the few minute walk to your next location.

Stop 2: Feed the Body @ City Spa

You walk into the lobby of City Spa unaware of the methods or going ons of this Russian Banya. After signing the paperwork and securing your wallet and keys in the lock box you head back to the locker room. The friendly house handyman greets you pleasantly while offering you a towel bundle and sandals in the separate room. Realizing you didn’t bring your own shorts he points to the old couch that is now the “rack” for the house shorts. You rummage around and locate one a few sizes too large but it’s all you got. Cinched up and towels in hand you head into the spa. After greeting the regulars and hanging up your dry goods you slide into the shower to follow the rules and rinse off. Ready to go you make your rounds. Steam til you cant handle it, jump in the cold plunge, sauna til you’re body’s on fire, leap into the cold plunge again, then relax in the Jacuzzi. Eventually you make small talk with the Russian regulars and you muster up the courage to use their venik in the sauna. You then find yourself slapping each other in the chest and back, a ritual that adorns approval from the older guys in the room. After a final cold plunge your stomach is ready for some needed attention. After collecting your items and walking on the street you finally feel the satisfaction of the steam room.

Stop 3: Feed the Soul @ Sky’s Gourmet Tacos

The cool night air pleasantly hits your steamed skin along the minute walk to Sky’s Gourmet Taco’s. The new locations outside patio greets you before you enter the old school horseshoed diner. A few regulars calmly eat their open faced lobster burritos while people itching for their to-go orders hustle between the door and counter. You take a seat on a stool and have the impossible task of ordering your meal. The menu is not only full of delicious choices but you’ve been saunaing your brain for the last two hours. Making the decision on which taco to order may be easier than lifting that thing into your mouth. As you ponder the amount of Netflix you’re going to consume when you get home you watch the show of shrimp and carnitas dance on the grill in front of you. At the peak of your stomach growls the chef de cuisine happily lands your tacos beneath your nose. The ingestion of the quasi soul food bites is almost in opposite tandem of the venik beatings you took early. You slowly come to a halt after your 3rd taco and realize your eyes may have ordered more than your stomach could handle. Within minutes you tackle the impossible and step  back onto Pico Blvd. With your mind, body and soul now fully taken care of it’s time to relax for the night.