I have my share of gripes about employment agencies, but I have a generally favorable impression of this one. Here's why:
1. I felt like the company considered me to be competent and intelligent
2. I felt like they wanted to get me a job that paid a decent wage
3. They met with me in person at a location that was convenient to me
4. They were not intimidating
5. They kept me employed for a month
6. They regularly send out job opening announcements even after you've found a job so you can refer friends
7. You get decent referral bonuses
8. I never had trouble getting paid
Most of their jobs seem to be in law offices.
I paid $170 for a full set of xrays and a cleaning. I'm not sure what the going rate in LA is, but where I'm from, this would be considered very expensive. However, I will say that the staff was very friendly and I felt like my needs and concerns were carefully addressed. They carefully researched what work my insurance company would cover and offered to help me set up a payment plan.
A little less hip and trendy and definitely off the beaten path, Heads Up hair design caters to a slightly older clientele. This isn?t to say that you can?t get the latest styles and products there?it just means you won?t be bombarded with loud music and attended to by bored, apathetic stylists. The women who work at Heads Up are friendly and chatty, and the atmosphere is very laid back. Their prices are quite reasonable compared to the more chic salons. Ask for Mary Frain, but make sure to make an appointment because she tends to be rather busy.
In this age of digital cameras and photo-quality printers, many people think it makes little sense to buy prints from a studio. I disagree. Jeffrey Alan?s specializes in weddings and other event photography (while still doing portrait sittings for those who want that professional touch). With excellent photographers and a friendly, outgoing staff, when I needed to get a portrait done for my mom's birthday, I found this studio to be an enjoyable, affordable, quality alternative to having a friend snap some shots. There are many aspects of composing and printing a great shot that even experienced amateurs overlook. You get what you pay for.
Steve and his guys at Performance are somewhat renowned in Simi Valley as being one of (if not the) best mechanics around. While this inspires confidence that they know what they?re doing and will charge you a fair rate, it also means that they tend to get very busy. Go early, and maybe even call ahead to warn them that you?re coming in. Don?t be put off by Steve?s gruff demeanor?he doesn?t have the time to make small talk with you because he?s busy fixing your car and making sure it?s done right.
The fact that this place is primarily a car wash should be the first sign that you don?t want to take your car there to be serviced. While they charge a fair rate for an oil change, anything more complex than that might leave you feeling taken. For example, they?ll charge you $70 to figure out why your engine light came on (a standard practice amongst mechanics), but they won?t waive that charge if you have them do work on your car. Other mechanics don?t charge you extra for telling you what?s wrong with your car if you hire them to fix it. When we complained, we were given a free car wash. Other mechanics take their customers? concerns more seriously. Go there instead.
Many know about the wonderful service and excellent prices at Centinela. What you might not know is just how convenient shopping at the Pico location can be. There is ample parking in their lot and the place never seems to be crowded with shoppers. Indeed, there always seems to be too many employees working, so they always seem eager to help you find or carry something. And, of course, make sure you get on their mailing list because their monthly coupons help you save even more. Sometimes the lot can get crowded on Saturday afternoons, but at other times I haven't had any problems. I often take advantage of buy one, get one free deals on 24 lb. bags of cat litter.
The food at Electric Lotus is good, though nothing to write home to India about. The dinners for two are a great deal--you get three entrees, dessert, samosas, naan, chutney, and raita for about $35 (for both people). Most of my food was served not quite hot enough, both temperature-wise and spiciness-wise, and the naan seemed a bit undercooked. The service was very friendly though and the low-lit, floor to ceiling curtains atmosphere is well-conceived. Though the restaurant is quite popular and somewhat hip, you won't feel out of place dressed casually. The bathrooms are particularly nice. The cocktails are pretty decent as well--they don't skimp on the alcohol. Electric Lotus is about the entire experience--not so much about the food. If you're looking for top-notch Indian food, you will probably be frustrated.
Literati Cafe has some of the best coffee I've ever had (and it's organic, shade-grown, fair trade coffee to boot). Their cappucinos are excellent. They also have a wide variety of cakes, breakfast items, a typical cafe menu consisting of sandwiches and salads, and short beer and wine lists. Wow! I've tried a couple of their sandwiches and salads, and have been quite pleased with all of them. Literati can get quite crowded at times, but I've always been able to find a table, and I've always been able to hear my friends. They don't have WiFi, though you will see a lot of laptops here.
I was very pleased with my recent visit to Literati II. They are committed to using fresh produce from the farmer's market and changing the menu depending on what is fresh and in season. You will pay $20-30 for an entree and you probably won't have leftovers, but you will not leave hungry. Like most upscale restaurants, you can expect to find mostly meat and fish entrees, with a pasta dish or two, and an ample dessert menu. What separates Literati II from its peers is the lack of pretentiousness and the smaller crowds.