Courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

From the perfect pocket knife to the most tuneful hair salon and more—it’s the Best of the West of the Week

Sunset Staff  – January 27, 2020 | Updated January 28, 2020

Helle Kletten Pocket Knife

Helle Kletten Pocket Knife
Anthony Awaken

I’ve lost a handful of useful pocket knives to bad packing habits and eye-rolling TSA employees. This one’s a keeper, I hope. The Norwegian manufacturer, which started making knives in 1932, calls it an “heirloom quality gentleman’s knife,” adding “none of us would accept a knife that does not work as intended or…with some useless gimmick.” This, from a company whose founder bicycled back and forth across the snowy country with his first batch of knives. The body, made of curly birch wood, displays a nuanced texture that deepens when oiled properly, part of the care regimen. The locking mechanism offers a sturdy embrace for the stainless folding blade. The name Kletten comes from a hill of the same name near the factory in Holmedal, Norway—a helpful dose of perspective when tackling tasks. At 3.1 inches when folded, it stows neatly in a pocket—always at hand for everyday projects.—Matt Bean, editor-in-chief

Whip Your Hair into This Chair

Whip Your Hair into This Chair
Creative Commons photo by Kevin Rhone is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In L.A.’s Highland Park neighborhood, you can get a gorgeous haircut to the best salon soundtrack in existence. The Artform Studio, owned by Sherry Younge, doubles as a record store and a salon, and it’s exclusively vinyl—no Spotify in Younge’s house. From funk to soul to R&B to rap, the vibe is energetic and fun, and the record cover of the moment is always on display for you to check out. This master hairstylist’s husband has something to do with that soundtrack, since he’s Adrian Younge, an L.A. music luminary (composer, arranger, producer, what does he not do?) who owns next-door recording studio Linear Labs and runs Jazz Is Dead, which is presenting an incredible series of shows for Black History Month. There’s also a curated selection of music books for sale, featuring books by authors like Jeff Chang and T-boz. —Dakota Kim, staff writer

A Massage with a Social Purpose

A Massage with a Social Purpose
Courtesy of Lifehood

Don’t call the newly opened Lifehood in Culver City’s THE PLATFORM a massage spot––it’s first and foremost a social purpose company, with massages as its vehicle for paying kindness forward. Here’s how it works: Book a “Feel It” treatment with prices ranging from $45 to $125. From here you have the option to “love-it-forward” to anyone in your life who could use some healing vibes––prices range from $35 to $115––and your recipient will receive notice from Lifehood that someone wants to celebrate them. When your chosen recipient comes in they will learn you loved it forward to them with a sweet note. The hope is that they will be filled with gratitude and your kindness will be contagious. Not convinced? Recent research from Emory University says that when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is known as the “helper’s high.” It doesn’t hurt that the space is stunning, with arched doorways, soothing colors, plush seating, and cozy slippers to wear during your stay. —Jasmin Perez, digital strategy director

Make Bathtime Better

Feel-Good Bath and Body Products
Courtesy of Bathing Culture

My favorite feel-good personal care company, Bathing Culture, keeps adding to its collection of wild-harvested, sustainably-minded goods for healthy, happy, clean bodies, and I can’t get enough. They started with just one product, the Cathedral Grove Mind and Body Wash, an organic, biodegradable blend including essential plant oils, shea butter, and aloe vera that smells and feels amazing. Since then they’ve added a travel-size aluminum-bottled version and a Refillable Rainbow glass bottle version to cut down on plastic use. They also offer a Big Dipper Mineral Bath, a Golden Hour Hydrosol, and most excitingly, an Outer Being Face & Body Oil—an ultra-light, anti-inflammatory blend of plant oils that I can’t wait to slather myself with. Bathing Culture also peddles Cosmic Rainbow Towels, hand-loomed in bright colors and super absorbent, as well as an assortment of shower accouterments like sea sponges, terra-cotta detox scrubbers, and body brushes. If you’re really ready to commit (I am), you can even get a 1-gallon refill of the Mind and Body Wash that started it all. —Kate Wertheimer, travel editor

Assorted Bath Products, Starting at $8 from Bathing Culture
   

The Art of Reducing Pollution 

The Art of Reducing Pollution
Courtesy of Oregon Zoo

One person’s (or rather, many, many people’s) trash has been turned into treasure, now on exhibit at the Oregon Zoo. Created by Bandon, Oregon, artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi, “Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea” recaptures the debris and litter found on Oregon beaches and forms it into the likenesses of the very sea life impacted by humans’ wanton disregard for oceanic ecosystems. Her works crystallize the true essences of these creatures—the cold, dead stare of a shark; the scurfy, hydraulic tube-feet of a sea star—using plastic garbage and spent fireworks. With 9 million tons of plastic garbage entering our oceans each year, Pozzi has her work cut out for her; hopefully her art can raise enough awareness to turn the tide on pollution. —Heather Arndt Anderson, garden editor

Head Into America’s Wild

Head into America’s Wild
Courtesy of MacGillivray Freeman Films

Sure, the film world is awash in awards season hubbub, but the coolest big screen experience is about to arrive. If you enjoyed National Parks Adventure a few years back, you’ll be over the moon for MacGillivray Freeman’s new documentary Into America’s Wild, premiering February 20. Think of it as a love song about America’s diverse landscapes disguised as a road trip, as the filmmaker visits some of the country’s most untamed, gorgeous places—many of which are, of course, in the West. I’m talking about the Oregon Coast. The remote wilds of Alaska. The red rock canyons of the Southwest. And many, many more. The film will be viewable in 2D and 3D, but I recommend IMAX to fully immerse yourself in the West’s natural splendor. —Jessica Mordo, associate digital director

Viridian Cocktail and Dessert Bar

My favorite thing this week isn’t a thing at all. Not yet. But soon (perhaps as early as February), it will be: A new bar within toddling distance of Sunset’s Oakland office will be serving the visionary combination of Asian desserts and cocktails. And not Americanized Chinese-restaurant staples like scorpion bowls and overly-sweet mai tais. Viridian will serve creative farm-to-glass concoctions with quintessential pan-Asian flavors, such as a margarita with yuzu and palm sugar. (There will be a sommelier on staff, too.) Bites will be elevated, as well, with some classic savory dim sum like barbequed pork buns, and sweeter, more fusion-adjacent offerings like churros with lilikoi dipping sauce and Thai tea tiramisu. Some lucky tipplers already got a sneak peak at a pop-up in October of last year, but the rest of us will have to wait—hopefully not more than a few weeks, although no firm opening date has been set. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

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