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2018 Pasadena Magazine - Woman in Business

Lucy Mao


Your Story

As the daughter of an international importer of home decor, I traveled the world with my father procuring and selling inventory. From an early age, I understood the art of negotiation, the importance of strategy, and “collecting” hotel bath accessories. By the time I was twelve, I had my own section of trade show booth space at the New York Coliseum. Customers were tough no-nonsense New Yorkers who tried to bargain down prices. But I was steadfast in protecting my father’s “never discount” policy. I quickly learned how to communicate the value of something, and how to gain trust from customers. In latter years, I realized that as a woman I was up against so many pre-conceived notions; being mistaken for a translator at our factories instead of an executive, or having negotiations with industry partners who would start with incredibly unfavorable terms thinking I wouldn’t have the ability to call them out. Such experiences have only given me strength, confidence and empathy. Today, I am a proud mother of three. I am a Realtor who finished 2017 just short of $30 million in sales. I am an active community volunteer. And, finally, I am a woman who has learned to never discount myself.

Best Advice

Be grateful everyday.


Residential Realtor and Relocation Specialist 

Address: 680 E Colorado Blvd #150, Pasadena CA 91101
Phone: 626-831-2201
Email:[email protected]


How Arcadia, California Became the Next Calabasas

This sleepy suburb has been attracting wealthy Chinese buyers looking to invest their millions in homes with custom amenities—and good feng shui.

Just the mention of luxury real estate in Southern California can conjure daydreams of beach houses in Malibu or estates in the hills of Bel Air. But for a certain very rich segment of the population, the area’s most desirable market is in a landlocked valley 20 miles northeast of downtown.

The city of is a bedroom community that stretches from the flatlands of the San Gabriel Valley to the foothills of the mountains that give the valley its name. Previously best known for being home to the Santa Anita racetrack, Arcadia is currently enjoying notoriety as a place where the median listing price has climbed to $1.5 million in the past five years.

What’s the draw? It’s a matter of supply and demand, says Lucy Mao, of the real estate firm Partners Trust. “Although Arcadia has been a wonderfully diverse community since the 1980s, the last 10 years have seen a significant increase in the Chinese population.”

Interest from Chinese buyers is driven in part by the economic boom in their country, which has created scores of new millionaires, many of whom are looking for somewhere safe to park their money. Somewhere like Arcadia, where the median price per square foot is 50 percent higher than in Los Angeles proper, and where $7 million teardown listings tout propitious feng shui.

But it’s not just about making a good investment. Chinese buyers—and others who are following them to what could become the next Calabasas—are also looking for luxuries that can set a run-of-the-mill 10,000-square-foot mansion apart from its peers.

In-demand Arcadia designers, like the Shanghai-born Robert Tong, whose custom Mediterranean-style houses boast price tags of up to $10 million, are happy to provide those touches, adding mah-jongg rooms and wok kitchens to the usual high-end perks.

Even the swimming pools are designed to impress, with synchronized water jets, mood lighting, and retractable 3-D television screens for enjoying the latest blockbuster while floating under the California stars. And while parents are going back and forth to Asia on business, the kids can stay put to attend local schools like the private Arroyo Pacific Academy.

These new homes, though, may represent the peak of the Arcadia boom. Mansionization of established neighborhoods has led to new city laws curbing the practice, and the Chinese government is tightening rules on offshoring capital. Still, as long as China keeps minting millionaires, and Southern California keeps attracting buyers of any nationality looking for impressive places to live, there’s no doubt developers will offer the big houses and glamorous amenities they want—mah-jongg rooms or not.

$12.9 Million, 964 Fallen Leaf Rd The Robert Tong-designed mansion has a 30-foot-high ballroom

$7.77 Million, 935 West Foothill Boulevard The French-style Estate,
constructed with high-quality marble and Tiles, has a wine cellar and home theater

$9.49 Million, 1100 Fallen Leaf Road with its BBQ, hot tub, and pool with waterfall,
this was meant for outdoor parties.

This story appears in the September 2017 issue of Town & Country.


To Serve Man

Life would be pretty scary without the services provided by the winners in this year’s Best of Pasadena Services category. The Creature from the Black Lagoon may be giving the Wolfman a trim here, but area residents looking to have their own hair coiffed will get great cuts at Ben’s Barber Shop (winner of our Best Barber Shop category) or styled luxuriantly at Tangles Salon (winner of Best Hair Salon).

This year, readers have honored over 50 different types of service suppliers in the Crown City area, ranging from those who improve their smiles, like Best Dentist winner Dr. Michael S. Yung & Associates, to those who help in toning their bodies, like Best Gym winner Title Boxing Club. On every front, our winners help make life better and a lot less frightening.

Buying a house can be the biggest and potentially scariest decision of your life, but if you live in Pasadena, you can have your fears quelled by the fact that there are plenty of people with great advice to offer here. In fact, two different realtors share the title of Best Realtor this year: Lucy Mao of Partners Trust and Alex Lozano of John Aaroe Group. And when you make your final decision, Best Mortagage Broker winner Sierra Capital Mortgage Company is there to make it affordable.

Sometimes you just want to get away and be pampered for a weekend, but you certainly don’t want to wind up at a place like the Bates Motel. Thankfully, Best Hotel winner Langham Huntington Pasadena Hotel & Spa is here to treat you like royalty. And if you have a loved one in need of a retirement community, Best Senior/Assisted Living winner Fair Oaks at Regency Park is just the way to treat them right.

You might be scared to be seen on a dance floor, unless you learn some hot moves at our Best Dance Studio winner Dance Street. Afraid your car isn’t looking as good as it should? Then go to Best Car Wash winner Pasadena Auto Wash and get it glistening.

Terrified that the party you’re throwing might turn out poorly? Never fear, for Best Party Rentals winner Dolphin Rentals will help you look like you’re hosting a soiree worthy of the Hamptons.

So don’t be afraid — be reassured. Our winners in Best of Services are here to make every part of your life a lot easier to handle.


Martin Truitt

Truitt & Company

80 N. Euclid Ave., No. 503, Pasadena

(626) 449-6264

As one of Pasadena’s top political kingmakers, Martin Truitt is sought out for his consulting skills on successful campaigns including Mayor Terry Tornek’s City Council and mayoral runs. But he’s even more respected for his work as an accountant and financial adviser, as evidenced by his repeat win here. And just as he earned broad support in the Best of Pasadena voting, the conservative has supported a broad range of candidates in the city’s nonpartisan electoral contests and makes his clients come out winners.

Reader Recommended

John M. Hornick,  CPA

709 E. Colorado Blvd., Suite 150, Pasadena


Dr. Ya-wen Cheng Acupuncture & Chiropractic

51 N. Fifth Ave., No. 305, Arcadia

After an incredible seven-year winning streak from 2006 to 2013, Dr. Cheng now has a new streak going in the Best of Pasadena awards after reclaiming the title last year. Whether you’re dealing with infertility and stress, sports injuries or chemotherapy side effects, Cheng will find the solution by using a multidisciplinary technique that brings the best of Western and Eastern medicine together.

Reader Recommended

Kang Eastern Medicine

50 Bellefontaine St., Suite 203, Pasadena

Tao of Wellness

171 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena


Lisa Henderson

Harvest Architecture, LLC

1510 Oxley St., Ste. A, South Pasadena

A native of Canada, Henderson has made herself at home in the Los Angeles area since 1991. After building her career at several area architectural firms, she founded Harvest Architecture in Pasadena after working with a forensic architect in the historic landmark district Bungalow Heaven. Whether selecting the right slabs in a stone yard, crawling beneath a house, brainstorming in her Harvest studio or organizing an art event for kids, she’s a perfectionist who’s dedicated to helping people find the soul in their living spaces.


Dansby-Darden Law Group

236 W. Mountain St., Suite 110 C, Pasadena

Pamela Dansby-Darden has over 20 years of trial experience, starting as a Los Angeles County public defender before going into private practice after a decade handling voluminous legal disputes. Running her own firm allows her to provide a more personal touch to her clients. She is also an advocate for community change, sitting as chairperson of the board of directors of Outward Bound Adventures, a nonprofit that employs overlooked youth through outdoor experiences and opportunities, and she is an active board member of Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles, Inc. and California Women Lawyers.

Reader Recommended

Michael Bononi

Bononi Law Group

301 N. Lake Ave., Ste. 820, Pasadena

Richard A. McDonald, Esq.

Counsel, Carlson & Nicholas LLP

140 S. Lake Ave., Ste. 25, Pasadena


Hrant Auto Service

1477 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena

There are many reasons why Hrant is still winning votes nearly 50 years after its start in 1970. But the popularity is primarily  due to satisfied customers who love the work they do on brake checks, tune ups, lube jobs, oil changes, transmission replacements, transmission rebuilding, and general engine repair. In fact, one online review sums them up perfectly: “Not only are Hrant and his guys honest and thorough, but the garage is always spotless and working efficiently. The prices are fair, and Hrant treats women with the same respect as men. We live over 20 miles away now, but we still take our cars to Hrant for work.”

Reader Recommended

Nishikawa Auto Service

510 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

Pasadena Automotive Repair

2364 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena


Wells Fargo Bank

82 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

(And seven other locations)

Whether helping their customers buy a house or open a savings account, Wells Fargo helps people navigate life in modern times with the same spirit they employed in their original days in the Old West. Better yet, they are a vital player in Pasadena life, thanks to their support of the Rose Parade and other community events, and our readers gave them credit back once again with a repeat win in the Best of Pasadena voting.

Reader Recommended

Bank of America

880 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(And nine other locations)


860 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

(And 15 other locations)


Ben’s Barber Shop

444 Fair Oaks Ave., South Pasadena

Ben’s Barber Shop has been around since 1968, earning loyalty from longtime customers not only for the styling skills of Ben Miranda, but also his fellow barbers Andrew Hunter and Sheila Hunter, a brother-sister team who have been there since 1999, and 22-year veteran Robert Sofre. “We still have original clients since the 1960s,” says Andrew Hunter, of the cash-only business with popular prices. “People spend thousands of dollars recreating an old-time shop, but we’ve got it here with even some taxidermy on the walls. People get the sense we’ve been working together so long — we’re funny, witty and people feel our energy.”

Reader Recommended

Academy Barber Shop

27 N. Catalina Ave., Pasadena

Floyd’s 99

888 Cordova St, Pasadena

Luke Walker’s Barber 

& Beauty Care

627 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena


Pasadena Auto Wash

164 W. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena

This practically perennial voter favorite offers not just car washes but oil changes, auto detailing and lubes, in addition to a fun waiting area where cookies and coffee are offered along with the daily paper and a TV for customers’ viewing pleasure. Their many fans make sure this is their definite destination for detailing every aspect of their cars.

Reader Recommended

Arroyo Car Wash

605 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

Sparkle Car Wash

2400 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Walnut-Hill Hand Car Wash

1465 E. Walnut St., Pasadena 


Innate Family Chiropractic

104 N. Madison Ave., No. 104,


The leading family chiropractic practice in Pasadena, Innate Family Chiropractic has made quite an impression since opening in 2010. The Webster Technique is the method of choice here, with both the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) and the National Wellness Foundation certifying the husband-wife team of Dr. Chris and Dr. Adana. The two met while studying at the Los Angeles branch of Cleveland Chiropractic College, but locals are happy they opted to make Pasadena the place they practice what their website calls “full family wellness care” for everyone from infants to grandparents.

Reader Recommended

Dr. Ya-Wen Cheng Acupuncture & Chiropractic

51 N. Fifth Ave., Ste. 305, Arcadia

Premier Wellness Chiropractic

2750 E. Washington Blvd., No. 140, Pasadena


Dr. Gordon Sasaki

800 Fairmount Ave., No. 319, Pasadena

Dr. Gordon Sasaki has been operating his Sasaki Advanced Aesthetic Medical Center in the Huntington Medical Plaza Building since 1985. His 6,500-square-foot facility includes the newly expanded and renovated Sasaki Innovessence SkinCare Center, with three Centers of Excellence under two surgeons and within one physical structure. In addition to its elegant waiting area and the consultation rooms there is an up-to-date photography room, and an operating recovery room, ensuring one stop for all your needs.

Reader Recommended

Dr. Martin O’Toole

Pasadena Plastic Surgery

542 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

Dr. Michael Schwartz

Skin Deep Laser Med Spa

425 S. Fair Oaks Ave., No.110, Pasadena


Wescom Credit Union

123 S. Marengo Ave., Pasadena

In an age when major banks are making headlines with scandals, more and more people are turning to credit unions for their financial needs. With a history dating back to 1934, Wescom Credit Union is clearly the most trusted choice in Pasadena, with nearly 200,000 members, more than $2 billion in assets and 22 branches throughout five Southern California counties. Not bad for a business started by 13 Pacific Telephone workers who pooled their money to create a financial institution that would offer them loans.

Reader Recommended

Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union

515 S. Wilson Ave., Pasadena

Pasadena Federal Credit Union

1038 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena


Dance Street

1715 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

“Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance” have gotten the nation’s TV viewers enraptured with the terpsichorean skills of random celebrities. But those who want to take the next step and actually learn how to tango, waltz, and cha cha their way onto dance floors should head over to Dance Street. Here Nikolai Voronovich and Maria Nikolishina have become our readers’ favorite dance instructors. Their Best of Pasadena award adds to their rankings among the top 10 dancers in the world, their USA medalist status and their Latin Blackpool championship, so you can’t go wrong.

Reader Recommended

Athletic Garage

121 Waverly Drive, Pasadena

Preston Li’s Academy of Dance

135 E. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel


Goodman Family Daycare & Preschool

1090 El Campo Drive, Pasadena

Jacqueline Goodman was a corporate lawyer seeking more meaningful work when she decided to open the Goodman Family Daycare & Preschool in 1986. She was inspired to do so after finding that there was no suitable community daycare program, and soon she became an ace childcare expert after supplementing her business law degree with child development studies and state certification classes. By taking her young charges on nature walks and engaging them with cooking classes, music appreciation and dance classes, and frequent story reading sessions, she gives them a well-rounded experience that helps set them on the right path for a lifetime of learning.

Reader Recommended

Kids Klub Pasadena 

Child Development Center & Preschool 

380 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 

Mentor Avenue Preschool

308 N Mentor Ave., Pasadena


Burke Williams Day Spa

39 Mills Place, Pasadena

The Burke Williams Spa chain has grown to 10 prime California locations since starting in 1984, and they are perennial winners in our Best of Pasadena poll due to the variety of lush services they offer. From massage therapy, facials and skin care and Ayurvedic treatments, through wet room treatments, spa baths and even chiropractic assistance, they are a one-stop wonder for rejuvenating your body. Take it to another level with their “Transformative Journey” packages, with themes like “Escape,” “Defy,” “Revitalize” and “Balance.”

Reader Recommended

Pasadena Massage Company

232 N. Lake Ave. No. 213, Pasadena

Salt Studio

1380 E. Walnut St., Pasadena


Dr. Michael Yung and Associates

696 E. Colorado Blvd., No. 224, Pasadena

Dr. Yung officially marks a decade of winning the Best of Pasadena poll with this year’s award, having first taken the prize in 2007. He and his staff take a proactive approach for the whole family’s teeth, starting with patients as young as 1. Yung’s desire to be a friendly neighborhood dentist stems from his own deep roots in the Pasadena area, as he grew up in San Marino en route to Northwestern University’s School of Dentistry before establishing his Pasadena practice in 2003.  He specializes in fillings, porcelain veneers, implants and teeth whitening, and uses digital X-rays to minimize radiation. That attention to detail makes it no surprise that he keeps taking the prize.

Reader Recommended 

Dr. James Angelos

1137 E. Green St., Pasadena

Dr. Mario Tse

1060 E. Green St., No.208, Pasadena

Mak & Kleiger, DDS

959 E. Walnut St., No. 216, Pasadena


Comprehensive Dermatology

625 S. Fair Oaks Ave., No. 200, Pasadena

Conveniently located in the Huntington Pavilion building next to Pasadena’s favorite medical facility, Huntington Hospital, the center offers three physicians —Dr. Sara Gaspard, along with Dr. Heather Butler and Dr. Han Lee and an in-house aesthetician. They work in treatment suites featuring the latest dermatological lasers and in an in-house acne treatment center for all ages and stages of acne. Offering medical and cosmetic dermatology treatments in addition to Mohs surgery, the center handles every skin care need imaginable.

Reader Recommended

David Denenholz, MD 

960 E. Green St., No. 330, Pasadena

Dr. Janice Davolio

Huntington Dermatology Group

800 Fairmount Ave., Suite 425, Pasadena


Dr. Claire Tilem (TIE)

Huntington Health Physicians 

65 N. Madison Ave., No. 800, Pasadena

Dr. Richard Wear (TIE)

Huntington Health Physicians 

65 N. Madison Ave., No. 800, Pasadena

Dr. Tina Yang (TIE)

Tina Yang Medical Clinic

128 N. Oak Knoll Ave., No. 100, Pasadena

The Crown City is fortunate to have doctors so beloved that our readers can’t pick just one favorite. Dr. Yang clearly stands out from the crowd of 31 family medicine doctors at Huntington Hospital, with nearly two decades of experience treating locals of all ages for their basic needs. Dr. Wear has also built trust over the decades since becoming an internal medicine specialist in 1983, with Dr. Tilem matching his 33 years of experience as well as his specialty.


Tip Top Cleaners

565 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Tip Top Cleaners offers full-service, environmentally safe and non-toxic dry cleaning in addition to tailoring, wedding gowns and preservation, leather and suede cleaning, and famous designer brand labels and contour cleaning. Add in their work on fluff and fold, rugs, shoe and handbag repairs, pillows and slip-covers, as well as draperies, with free pick-up and delivery service for all orders above $25 and a two for one dry cleaning discount for first-time customers, and it’s clear why they’re tip-top in our readers’ estimation. 

Reader Recommended

Bryan’s Cleaners

544 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

Magic Cleaners & Laundry

89 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena


Linden Optometry

477 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

With over 10,000 types of sunglasses and eyeglasses in addition to contact lenses, and more than 30 optometrists available to take care of customers, it’s no wonder Linden Optometry has earned top honors from Best of Pasadena voters. But they’re not just a great traditional eyewear shop; they’re also on the cutting edge by offering the ECO (Earth-Conscious Optics) line of Green eyewear, manufactured from 95 percent recycled metal and plastics. Caring about your eyes as well as the environment shows that the staff at Linden Optometry has their eyes wide open to the world.

Reader Recommended

Dr. Andrew Gore

301 E. Colorado Blvd., Ste, 528, Pasadena

Dr. Charles Korth

1 W. California Blvd., No. 513, Pasadena


European Wax Center

569 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

First-time guests get a free wax at this decade-old skin-care institution, and their ace staff can take care of unwanted hair and create smooth skin anywhere you desire. Through their Strut 365 product line, the EWC enables clients to keep the care going at home with their luxurious Bath and Body Collection. Three luxurious scents are featured with ultra-hydrating body lotions, dual-action body washes and high-performance body polishes, making the Strut Lavishly collection the perfect way to protect your skin between visits. 

Reader Recommended 


253 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Zoey Van Jones Brow Studio

45 E. Union St., Pasadena


Cabot & Sons Funeral Home

27 Chestnut St., Pasadena

Dealing with the passing of a loved one is always hard, but Cabot & Sons has handled those troubling moments with a personal touch for nearly a century, opening in 1921. They take pride in being a family-owned funeral home, rather than part of a corporate chain, and will guide you and your loved ones through a full array of cremation and burial options. 

Reader Recommended

Mountain View Mortuary,

Cemetery and Crematory

2400 Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena

Woods-Valentine Mortuary

1455 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena


Brookside Golf Course

1133 Rosemont Ave., Pasadena

Playing a round of golf can be one of life’s greatest simple pleasures, but the Brookside Golf Course helps make any day on the greens truly memorable. Nestled amid the Arroyo Seco’s lush natural wonders, yet also inspiring for its proximity to the Rose Bowl, Brookside offers visitors the chance to make a full day of it, with great breakfasts served on the patio of the golf club to build energy and camaraderie for 18 holes of fun.

Reader Recommended

Altadena Golf Course

1456 E. Mendocino St., Altadena

Annandale Golf Club

1 N. San Rafael Ave., Pasadena


Title Boxing Club

87 Fraser Alley, Pasadena

Channel your inner Rocky Balboa or Jean-Claude Van Damme safely by taking Title Boxing Club’s no-hit boxing and kickboxing classes, led by trainers skilled in mixed martial arts who will show you how to wrap your hands, work the bag, and master moves that will transform your body. Motivation comes easily, from the pulse-pounding music of a top Las Vegas DJ as you alternate between rounds of punching and kicking, and doing toning exercises to focus your mind and challenge your muscles.

Reader Recommended

MC 2 Fit

460 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena

Pure Barre Pasadena

107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., No. 109 Pasadena


Tangles Salon

145 W. Green St., Pasadena

These popular Old Pasadena stylists have been making Pasadenans look great for more than 14 years, with a staff that has been hair designing for more than 20 years. Aside from experience, they offer cutting-edge products including Olaplex, a revolutionary rebonding tool that can be used as a conditioning treatment that helps restore broken bonds internally during any chemical treatment. Add in a range of product choices from L’Oreal, Redken, Nioxin and the Bamboo  line by Alterna, and this is the one stop you need to make your hair look great in any situation.

Reader Recommended

Crowned Studio Salon

54 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Orpheum Hair Salon

610 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Union Salon

174 S. De Lacey Ave., Pasadena


HEAR Center

301 E. Del Mar Blvd., Pasadena

Founded in 1954 by Ciwa Griffiths, Ed.D., the Hear Center developed what became known as the Auditory Approach: helping hearing-impaired children gain the gift of speech through early identification of hearing loss, amplification with hearing aids and training in speech and listening. The nonprofit offers complete and affordable hearing and speech services and helps people at all stages of life. 

Reader Recommended 

Love Hearing Services

2633 E. Foothill Blvd., No. 101, Pasadena


2848 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena


Navarro Construction, Inc.

3579 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

Celebrating their 25th year, Navarro Construction provides both remodeling services and new build construction, custom fabrication and project management services for all types of structures. With hundreds of projects successfully completed so far, they have happy customers throughout the region. In fact, they only work by referral. With the philosophy, “Cover all of the details, right from the start,” they help clients know what to anticipate from the beginning of a project, taking pressure off clients while fulfilling their dreams.

Reader Recommended

Joe Grueter

Grueter Construction

2672 Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena


Huntington Hospital

100 W. California Blvd., Pasadena

With more than 70 top-notch services offered — from a neonatal intensive care unit and chemical dependency recovery to extensive cancer treatment options and psychiatric services, in addition to high-quality regular care for those having to spend a few days on the mend — Huntington Hospital has been Pasadena’s standard-bearer for medical care for decades. The 625-bed institution was named for Henry Edwards Huntington, a Southern California businessman and booster whose estate awarded $2 million to Pasadena Hospital in the 1930s, and it’s carried on his humanitarian legacy ever since.

Reader Recommended

Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Medical Offices

3280 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

Methodist Hospital 

300 W. Huntington Drive, Arcadia


The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa

1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena

Set on 23 acres of lush gardens, and filled with historic ballrooms and spacious guest rooms that all have a spectacular view of the San Gabriel Mountains, the Langham Huntington offers a lavish way to get away for a night or a weekend. Visitors can enjoy a lavish meal at the Royce Wood-Fired Steakhouse, featuring USDA prime cuts, Australian Wagyu steaks and Japanese Kobe beef all grilled over an open wood fire. While the regular prices make it clear that this is the gold standard for lodging in the Pasadena area, numerous deals help make this a little more affordable for the average Joe or Jane wanting a far-above-average experience.

Reader Recommended

DusitD2 Hotel Constance

928 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

The Westin Pasadena

191 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena


True Blue Maids

2104 E. Walnut St., Pasadena

You want to know that you can trust the maid service you hire to take good care of your property, and also not walk out the door with it. True Blue Maids is family-owned and puts the highly personalized touch as their staff deep cleans every room in the house, including wiping windowsills and baseboards in addition to vacuuming, polishing and dusting everything in sight. Whether doing a one–time cleaning or needing their services on varying regular schedules, True Blue has you covered.

Reader Recommended

Maid Brigade

Specialty Services of Arcadia

45 La Porte St., Arcadia


Robyn Navarro

Upstage Design

964A Foothill Blvd.

La Cañada Flintridge

While studying architecture and environmental design at age 18, Robyn Navarro joined her uncle’s commercial production company, eventually working her way up to becoming a union art director at age 30. Shortly after she got married, Robyn left the long days and locations to launch Navarro Construction with her husband. At Navarro Construction, Robyn led the design of residential projects for over 12 years, earning multiple awards and accolades from their clients, community and social media.

Reader Recommended

Ederra Design Studio

1142 N. Allen Ave., No. 100, Pasadena

Elia Design Group

1560 E. Mountain St., Pasadena


Pasadena Laundry (TIE)

2585 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Bryan’s Cleaners (TIE)

544 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

Pasadena residents must have the cleanest clothes around, considering that two distinctly different laundry services shared this year’s title. Offering full service wash, dry and folding, as well as pickup and drop off delivery service and decades each of experience handling locals’ needs, one never has to worry about looking regal in the Crown City. And with four terrific services in Pasadena, there’s always a location for one of these ace establishments right around the corner.

Reader Recommended

French Hand Laundry and dry cleaner

606 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Magic Cleaners & Laundry 

89 N Lake Ave., Pasadena


Webster’s Community Pharmacy

2450 N. Lake Ave., Altadena

Webster’s Community Pharmacy in Altadena is celebrating 90 years of service to Pasadena and Altadena residents who need a friendly smile and reliable handling of their meds when they’re on the mend. Currently owned by Meredith and Michael Miller, this full service prescription pharmacy helps customers go the extra mile by also supplying wheelchairs and walkers. And the Millers provide an extra personal touch by carrying plenty of boutique gifts and greeting cards to cheer up the recovering person in your life.

Reader Recommended

Fairmont Pharmacy

50 Bellafontaine St., Ste. 103, Pasadena

Phoenix Pharmacy

2523 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena


American Kenpo Karate

36 S. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena

American Kenpo Karate has been training locals in this Japanese form of marital arts for over 20 years, teaching both kids and adults how to defend themselves and become karate masters, climbing a six-step path that takes them from Little Dragons through Advanced Adult levels. Kenpo master Rick Jeffcoat started studying the art form in 1984, and all the effort paid off when he was inducted into the National Kenpo Hall of Fame, as one of the 300 most accomplished kenpoists in the nation. So you know you’re in the hands of an expert when you take classes here.

Reader Recommended

Pasadena Martial Arts Academy

752 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Two Dragons Martial Arts

2490 N. Lake Ave., Altadena


OU Beauty Medical Spa

130 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale

This Glendale favorite will prep you for any special occasion, as it features anti-aging treatments including Botox injections, laser hair removal, cool sculpting that helps get rid of fat without the hassles of surgery, and skin treatments such as chemical peels and micro-dermabrasions. The 13-person staff led by Dr. James Kojian offers eight nurses an aesthetician and four Class II technicians, ensuring happiness with any service they provide.

Reader Recommended

Sasaki Innovessence

800 Fairmount Ave., 

No. 319, Pasadena

Skin Deep Laser Med Spa

425 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena


Sierra Capital Mortgage Co.

1055 E Colorado Blvd., No.500, 


The husband-wife team of Linda and Roland Wilcox have been helping locals find the best advice and competitive interest rates in their search to buy homes for the past 20 years. Their two decades of experience ensures that they have plenty of leverage in securing great terms for home financing from an array of lending partners. They also help with home refinancing, landing better deals that can save homeowners thousands of dollars that can be put to use achieving their other financial dreams, and have made them respected enough to earn this title two years in a row.

Reader Recommended

Franklin Loan Center

101 E. Green St.,No. 7, Pasadena

HomeStreet Bank

Pasadena Home Loan Center

251 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Wendy Silva

Silva+Villa Home Loans

3200 La Crescenta Ave., Ste. 202, Glendale


Top Nails

1920 N. Lake Ave # 103, Altadena

With more than 80 glowing Yelp reviews online, Top Nails is clearly a place where magic is made for manicures, pedicures, or the ever-popular combination of the two. Offering an array of acrylics and gels to ensure their work lasts, the staff also handles lash work that can last up to two weeks for as little as $25. The combination of quality service, great prices and attentive staff have inspired some customers’ families to come in for three generations and counting.

Reader Recommended

DeLacey Beauty Shoppe

48 S. DeLacey Ave., Pasadena

Olive & June

146 S Lake Ave., Pasadena


Dolphin Event Services

1901 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

Dolphin Rentals is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, although it originally started as an ambulance service for Pasadena and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles. But they’ve been handling party and special event rentals since the 1970s, offering stylish seating, tents and countless other services to nonprofit socials, festivals, graduations weddings and more. Their extensive gallery of event photos they’ve worked on provides customers with an array of ideas for their own events, while giving them the confidence that their own special soiree will be handled right.

Reader Recommended

Arcadia Party Rentals

124 Wheeler Ave., Arcadia

Town & Country Event Rentals

523 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena


Paws in Motion

Dogs need to stretch their legs, run fast and breathe deep, and that’s what Paws in Motion facilitates for its customers. While safely leashed to an avid runner, dogs are taken out to exercise on the many trials of the Los Angeles area. Along with the San Gabriel Mountains and the Upper and Lower Arroyo, other favorite fun areas for running and hiking are Griffith Park and the Verdugos. The less busy the trail, the better for uninterrupted play time. Services go for $40 for a one-hour run and $32 for a 60-minute hike. If you’re in La Cañada Flintridge, South Pasadena, San Marino, Glendale, downtown LA or LA’s East Side, Paws in Motion is the pet service for you.

Reader Recommended

I Dig My Dog

2160 E. Foothill Blvd, Pasadena

My Dog Spot


Jason Ballard Photography/JKB Photography

Ballard fell in love with photography in 2009 while on a family vacation to Oregon, when he bought a fancy DSLR camera to replace his standard point-and-shoot. He’s never looked back, as his instant knack for the art form led him to not only open shop as a pro, but quickly soar to the top of local lensmen. He specializes in sports and portrait photography, with a particular passion for portraits of athletes, because of his own lifelong passion for sports. Whether you’re looking to get the perfect shot of a sporting event, family portraits and even real estate imagery, Ballard is one-stop shopping for vibrant visuals.

Reader Recommended

HalfCity Productions

333 Marathon Rd., Altadena

Lyd & Mo Photography Studio & Gallery

27 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena


Landswick Physical Therapy, Inc.

959 E. Walnut St., Ste. 240, Pasadena

Erik Landswick started Landswick Physical Therapy in January 2004 with the goal of providing the best physical therapy care in the San Gabriel Valley. He’s reached his goal by winning this year’s contest, a win that comes in no small part by offering a health and wellness program in his 2,700 square foot facility that transitions patients from physical therapy exercise into functional training programs. Landswick also scores points with the community for his volunteer work with St. Francis High School in La Canada during the football season, and no doubt keeps the players as healthy as possible through his expertise.

Reader Recommended

CATZ Physical Therapy and Sports Performance

801 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena

Pasadena Physical Therapy

95 W. California Blvd., Pasadena


Pilates of Pasadena

990 S. Arroyo Parkway, No. 2, Pasadena

Founder and head trainer Maria Jimenez-Tierney fell in love with pilates while studying art in New York in 1993 because it was the first challenging exercise routine that she also found artistic. She pursued the study of Pilates’ fluid moves and graceful style, earning her certification in 2000 and spending 13 years working at various Pasadena studios before opening PoP three years ago. Her ace team of five talented trainers offers both private and group classes, working with clients of all ages and abilities including handicapped, athletes young adults and seniors.

Reader Recommended

Studio Metamorphosis

676 E. Green St., Pasadena


860 E. Green St., Pasadena


Partners Trust

594 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

With more than 240 associates offering real estate brokerage services in nine offices across the Los Angeles area, Partners Trust are proud of their sales volume while maintaining a reputation of integrity, market intelligence and a genuine connection to their communities. In fact, their Charitable Giving Fund supports a wide array of nonprofits across LA, including current beneficiaries EduCare Foundation, Westside Children’s Center and Inner-City Arts. Add in its status as one of Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work in Los Angeles” list for the past seven years, and you’ve got a firm that can’t be beat.

Reader Recommended

John Aaroe Group 

42 Pasadena Ave., Pasadena

Keller Williams

251 S. Lake Ave. Ste. 150, Pasadena

Podley Properties

897 Granite Drive, Pasadena


Lucy Mao (TIE)

Partners Trust

594 E. Colorado Blvd, Pasadena

Alex Lozano (TIE)

John Aaroe Group

42 S. Pasadena Ave., Pasadena

Lucy Mao draws on her experiences as a successful business owner, real estate investor, world traveler and mother of three to provide great care and thoughtful strategy to every real estate transaction, and her own experiences living in Eagle Rock, Glendale, San Marino, Arcadia and Pasadena provide invaluable insights to her clients.
Alex Lozano is celebrating his 10th year as a local real estate agent, with a focus on the San Gabriel Valley and Northeast LA, the fastest growing area in Southern California. Born and raised in Pasadena, he has strong roots in the community that inspire his passion for real estate investments and popular and trendy design work.

Reader Recommended

Barbara Richardson King

Coldwell Banker

388 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Dhari Thein

Podley Properties

1471 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena

Paula Walker

John Aaroe Group

42 Pasadena Ave., Pasadena


Arroyo Parkway Self Storage

411 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

There’s nothing scarier than a cluttered house, and the fine folks at Arroyo Parkway Self Storage have just the solution. For the past nine years, they’ve been serving the Pasadena area, and doing it well enough that they’ve not only won this award but have over 50 percent of their storage unit rentals come from repeat or referral business. That’s because they provide a free truck to move in, as well as a clean, secure and will-lit facility, as well as a variety of storage sizes and options to meet your needs and fit any budget.

Reader Recommended

Space Bank Mini Storage

3202 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

Storbox Self Storage

2233 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena


The Fair Oaks by

Regency Park

951 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena

Regency Park Senior Living offers such great amenities that it has won this category six out of the last seven years. Focusing on independent and assisted living, residents enjoy a lifestyle of relaxed elegance — including fine dining, daily housekeeping, and local transportation — along with a broad array of services and care options. Want a home movie theater, a computer café, fitness and therapy center, or spa and massage room? It’s all here and more.

Reader Recommended

Arcadia Gardens 

Retirement Hotel

720 W. Camino Real Ave., Arcadia

Villa Gardens

842 E. Villa St., Pasadena


Justine Sherman & Associates

55 Auburn Ave., Ste. A,Sierra Madre

A nonpublic agency serving the speech-language, educational orofacial and myofunctional needs of clients throughout the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, Justine Sherman & Associate designs and carries out customized treatment plans with specific goals. Their speech-language pathologists and educational specialists conduct individual or group therapy sessions, always aiming for a family-centered approach to their clients’ care. That’s important considering she and her staff help people of all ages, from toddlers to adults.


Summerkids Camp

3697 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Altadena

For more than 35 years, Summerkids has been giving children magical summers on their 57-acre campus at the edge of the Angeles National Forest. In fact, the kids have such a good time that all of the counselors who work there are former attendees. That’s because the first rule of the camp is to “Have fun,” giving today’s tightly programmed kids a chance to cut loose and have a blast in nature. The safe and secure location is completely fenced and includes beautiful meadows, streams, lodge, cabins, pool, sports fields, a 1,200-square-foot garden, hiking trails, a zip line, an obstacle course, a chicken coop and much, much more.

Reader Recommended

Theatre 360

75 N. Marengo Ave., Pasadena

Tom Sawyer Camp

707 W. Woodbury Road, No. F, Altadena


Shogun Tattoo

2480 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena

This shop has been making area tattoo fans’ skin colorful for the past 14 years, ever since Andrew Moore decided to set up shop in Pasadena with a studio that specializes solely in inking, not piercing. Clearly, area aficionados appreciate that focus, and their five-man team of Moore, Pete Castro, Joe Reno, Charles Belnavis and Tony Action are available to help you achieve a dramatic new look.

Reader Recommended

In the Skin Studio

586 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena


Montrose Travel

2349 Honolulu Ave., La Crescenta-Montrose

If you’re scared of the presidential election’s results and are looking to flee the country, you can’t go wrong asking Montrose Travel’s ace staff to help you find the right flight to the right destination at the right price. Recognized as one of America’s Top 50 travel management companies, they have succeeded by keeping their focus personal and “helping people travel, one at a time.”

Reader Recommended

AAA Automobile Club of Southern California

801 E. Union St., Pasadena


VCA Foothill Veterinary Hospital

2204 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena

Since 1953, VCA Foothill Veterinary Hospital has been administering quality veterinary care, serving Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre, San Marino, South Pasadena, Arcadia and the surrounding areas. Preventive health services and products for all dog and cat patients include vaccinations, spaying and neutering, parasite prevention and testing, microchip placements, wellness exams and prescription diet foods. Add in pet grooming and boarding, treatment for canine and feline diabetes, and home delivery of medications and food for prescription diets, and you have one-stop care for all your canine and cat needs.

Reader Recommended

Dr. Daniel Vanderho of Vanderhoof Veterinary Hospital

2235 Lake Ave., Ste. 101, Altadena

Pasadena Pets Veterinary Hospital

2850 E. Foothill Blvd., Pasadena


MC2 Fit

460 S. Arroyo Pkwy., Pasadena

This is not just a run of the mill gym with weights and machines. Based on the training methods of Master Trainer Maggie Chen, MC2 Fit’s mission is to educate and help promote effective weight loss plans that elevate health. The idea is not just to diet, but to change lifestyles to produce a more permanent change. MC2 Fit, inspires, transforms and works to unleash the best in you.

Reader Recommended

Pasadena Weight Loss Center

774 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena

Weight Watchers

305 N. Rosemead Blvd., Pasadena


Title Boxing Club

87 Fraser Alley, Pasadena

Channel your inner Rocky and develop the eye of the tiger without getting hurt by engaging in no-hit boxing and kickboxing sessions for workout. Men and women can burn up to 1,000 calories per hour in group classes, helping ensure that participants will be prepared for their safety and won’t have any scary nights on the streets of our fair city.

Reader Recommended

MC2 Fit

460 S. Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena

Pure Barre Pasadena

107 S. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena


Hot Yoga Pasadena

2089 E Colorado Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107

Hot yoga — aka Bikram yoga — is specially designed to be the format of choice for true believers in yoga. Using intense heat to effect deeper impact and stretching of muscles, it also becomes a means of cleansing one’s system through sweat and is a great way for regular practitioners to lose weight. What makes Hot Yoga Pasadena stand out from the crowd of other yoga institutions is its creation of YogiVal, a yoga class for preteen girls that teaches inner strength and confidence.

Reader Recommended

Yoga House

11 W. State St., Pasadena

Yoga Works

277 W. Green St., Pasadena


Work With Lucy

As a realtor, I have taken all of my experiences as a successful business owner, real estate investor, world traveler, wife and mother of three to provide great care and thoughtful strategy to each and every real estate transaction.

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