There is a very strong presence of Chinese culture in Los Angeles and environs. The first wave of Chinese immigration into California was from 1849-1882. The Chinese were instrumental in opening the West and labored in all types of industries, of course the railroads but also mining, manufacturing, agriculture and fishing.
Along with their tremendous work ethic, the Chinese bring a myriad of cultural traditions and holistic wisdom which brings us to our first excursion to the Bao Foot Spa in Santa Monica. The basis of the treatments at the spa is Reflexology which evidence would suggest has been practiced in China as far back as 4000 BC. The theory behind Reflexology is that there are points on the feet (and hands) that correspond to organs in the body and when pressure is applied to these points, health is created in the associated organs.
Although this is an ancient practice, Bao offers a contemporary and tranquil environment that we thoroughly enjoyed and highly recommend!
Then, it was on to lunch at Chinois on Main, also in Santa Monica, which is an iconic restaurant not just in the Los Angeles area but internationally. This is because the owner, Wolfgang Puck, now a household name but back then a food revolutionary, recognized that Chinese as well as as other Asian flavors would “fuse” well with French cooking techniques. It was a melding that has come to be called California Cuisine.
It just so happened that the day we were there, Chinois had just celebrated it’s 36th anniversary and the restaurant was decorated with balloons which made for a very festive luncheon. We chatted with Bella Landsman, co-owner of the restaurant who shared that Chinois also pioneered the concept of small plates and no table clothes. For someone who doesn’t even use place mats, I applaud this!
Jan and Jen