Health, Beauty & Fitness

Readers’ Choice 2015:

Synagogue Life




Have a Nosh

Time to Celebrate

Shop Till You Drop

Business & Professional

House & Home


Healthy teeth are vital to well-being as well as to looking and feeling good; our readers recommend these dentists as their favorites.

Dr. David Rothman, who limits his 29-year-old San Francisco dental practice to infants, children, adolescents and patients with special needs, advises bringing children in to see him early — between ages 1 and 2½ — “so they enjoy coming to the dentist.” Along with top-notch treatment, his job and that of his staff is putting families at ease. “Educating the parent as well as the child is of the utmost importance, especially in the areas of diet, frequency of eating and oral health.”

Providing both cosmetic and comprehensive general dentistry, Dr. Josh Bernstein “would love to make you smile,” according to his website. His Piedmont practice focuses on comfort, with or without sedatives; “smile transformation,” from fillings to restorative work; on-time appointments with a minimal number of visits; and affordable payment options.

Dr. Tanya Manyak’s San Mateo practice provides cosmetic and general dentistry to families and kids, including invisible braces, bonding and veneers, whitening, gum treatment, oral cancer screening and halitosis treatment. Believing that “aesthetics and good oral health go hand-in-hand,” the group practice places equal emphasis on science and art, enhancing “overall wellness and beauty through dental care.”

Dr. Melissa Rinck’s San Rafael practice provides family, preventive and cosmetic dentistry. Services include periodontics; restorative work, including tooth-colored fillings, inlays and onlays (midway between fillings and crowns); oral surgery; implants; and teeth whitening.

San Francisco

Dr. David Rothman

(415) 333-6811


East Bay

Dr. Josh Bernstein


(510) 601-7645


South Bay/Peninsula

Dr. Tanya Manyak

Manyak Dental Group

San Mateo

(650) 342-9941


North Bay

Dr. Melissa Rinck

San Rafael

(415) 479-4977


Plastic Surgeon

Looking good contributes to feeling good; here are some trusted sources for plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Kind-Chang Plastic Surgery in San Francisco is “probably best known for our work performing breast reconstruction for patients with breast cancer, although we do all types of aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery,” says Dr. Gabriel Kind, whose partner is Dr. David Chang. In addition to offering options for breast reconstruction, reduction and augmentation, he adds, “we have done more microsurgical breast procedures than any other practice in Northern California — and we are involved in even more cases of implant reconstruction.”

Dr. Bryant Toth, who has been in practice in San Francisco since 1984, performs cosmetic surgery on adults in his private office adjacent to California Pacific Medical Center. In addition, he co-directs the craniofacial program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. “I have a commitment to children born with facial deformity and spend five days a month operating on children with cleft lip, cleft palate and major intracranial deformities,’’ he writes on his website.

Dr. Michael Cedars, a past president of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, formerly served as chief of plastic surgery at Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley and Children’s Hospital Oakland. Although he continues to treat children with a variety of birth defects, today more than three-quarters of the patients at his Oakland office are adults who come for cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body; laser resurfacing; skin cancer removal; or Botox and filler injections.

Dr. Joshua Korman, an adjunct clinical associate professor at Stanford University with offices in Mountain View, San Jose and Carmel, has 20 years of cosmetic surgery experience, as well as a background in sculpture, and is the inventor of a recently FDA-approved medical device to significantly help women in breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Emphasizing personal care in a relaxed environment for surgical as well as medical spa treatments, he says his goal is “helping patients become educated, proactive consumers who are thrilled with their results.”

San Francisco

Kind-Chang Plastic Surgery

Dr. Gabriel Kind

(415) 565-6884


Dr. Bryant Toth

(415) 923-3008


East Bay

Dr. Michael Cedars


(510) 763-2662


South Bay/Peninsula

Dr. Joshua Korman

Mountain View (main office)

(650) 254-1200 •


Health Club

Getting fit is a lifelong pursuit, and our readers enjoy exercising and playing at these facilities.

The JCC of San Francisco, with its 42,000-square-foot Koret Center for Health, Fitness and Sport, provides members a place to swim, work out and participate in group fitness classes, or work with a personal trainer. “I think the thing that we’re most proud of is the fact that we have many ‘studios’ under one roof — one for cycling, private Pilates training, mind-body (yoga) classes, small group training and group exercise,” says Jennifer Morrice, director of fitness programs and service, adding that fitness classes for kids will begin again in the fall.

Planet Fitness, the East Bay winner with centers nationwide, offers an “affordable, non-intimidating fitness experience,” according to the website, with unlimited fitness training programs — or members can do their own thing. “It doesn’t matter if your legs have never seen a squat machine before; we believe how you work out is totally up to you.”

At Palo Alto’s Oshman Family JCC, the Goldman Sports and Wellness Complex houses dedicated Pilates and cycling studios, a double-court gym with recreational leagues, indoor and outdoor pools, more than 145 drop-in classes weekly and dozens of specialty classes. Nutrition and wellness programs include personal coaching, lectures and workshops. Child-care services enable parents to enjoy a stress-free workout.

With an NCAA regulation-size gym, swim programs in the indoor and outdoor pools, more than 100 weekly exercise classes, plus strength training and cardiovascular equipment, the Peninsula JCC in Foster City offers fitness options for all levels, ages and interests. Nutrition lectures and Mindfulness Meditation are among the wellness offerings, and specialty classes include Bollywood Dance, Women on Weights and the Pink Ribbon program, providing postoperative workouts for breast cancer survivors.

At the Osher Marin JCC, the 30,000-square-foot Koret Center for Health and Fitness includes indoor and outdoor pools, gymnasiums and workout studios, personal and small group training, plus an array of fitness and aquatics programs for newborns to seniors. Among the specialty programs: TRX boot camp-style classes, Zumba, Feldenkrais, nutrition workshops and yoga.

San Francisco

JCC of San Francisco

(415) 292-1234


East Bay

Planet Fitness

Various locations


South Bay/Peninsula

Oshman Family JCC

Palo Alto

(650) 223-8700


Peninsula JCC

Foster City

(650) 212-7522

North Bay

Osher Marin JCC

San Rafael

(415) 444-8000


Day Spa

Seeking massage and pampering? Our readers are happy to recommend the following to meet your needs.

Founded by aesthetician Bella Schneider, LaBelle has been pampering clients for more than 35 years at its location near Union Square and also serves Palo Alto with two salons. Clients include celebrities, Silicon Valley executives and those seeking facial, skin care and body treatments as well as beauty salon services: haircuts, styling and color, manicure-pedicures and makeup.

Nestled in the hills on the Berkeley-Oakland border, the Claremont, rated one of the top spas in the country, offers head-to-toe treatment: acupuncture, hydrotherapy, facials and massages. The massage menu includes therapeutic, deep tissue, shiatsu, aromatherapy, hot stone and the Tibetan sound massage.

After a healthy workout— or even without one — area JCCs invite clients to unwind. Palo Alto’s Oshman Family JCC provides a calm setting for pampering, and the magic hands of massage therapists put clients in a state of deep relaxation. For a quicker treatment, try a chair massage, or simply slip into the steam room or sauna.

At Foster City’s Peninsula JCC, visitors can treat themselves to a spa treatment, which includes massage, facials, waxing and tinting and a number of services just for men. Facial

possibilities include treatment for sun-damaged skin, hydration, microderm polishing, peels and adolescent skin treatment. Massages range from Swedish, deep tissue and shiatsu to sports, acupressure, cranial sacral and lymphatic drainage.

Evo, the Marin winner, opened in 2004 in Mill Valley and offers Tibetan bowl foot massage, facials and Kaya Kulpa (Sanskrit for “body’s transformation”), its “signature body treatment,” says spa director Elizabeth Bevil. “The rare healing powder used in this ancient Indian tradition was once reserved exclusively for royalty and contains gold, silver and mineral ashes of natural crystals and gemstones.”

San Francisco

LaBelle Day Spas & Salons

(415) 433-7644


East Bay

Claremont Club and Spa


(510) 843-3000


South Bay/Peninsula

Oshman Family JCC

Palo Alto

(650 223-8700


Peninsula JCC

Foster City

(650) 212-7522


North Bay

Evo Spa

Mill Valley

(415) 383-3223