Peponi Nail Lounge: Happy Hour Mani and Martinis

— by Caroline on Crack

Manicure and what's left of my cocktail

Dre was the one who told me about Peponi Nail and Skin Care Lounge‘s special happy hour on Thursdays where you can get a salon manicure and two martinis for only $20. That’s quite a deal considering specialty cocktails are about $11+ on average. And with pretty nails to boot? Nifty!

Naturally I had to do it. And unlike the manicures and martinis at the Beauty Bar in Hollywood (which are $10 for a mani and one specialty cocktail), I wouldn’t risk wrecking my nails in a drunken bar scene.

Lisa from LAist and I converged on the craftsman-house-turned-salon in Venice, situated off the ever busy Lincoln Boulevard. Since the happy hour is only on Thursdays from 5 to 8pm, we made our appointments for 6:30. Surprisingly the salon was pretty quiet with only two beauticians on duty.

The receptionist asked us to take a seat after we checked in but not before fixing us up a couple of raspberry cocktails made of vodka, cointreau and cranberry/raspberry juice with three fresh raspberries floating on its candy red surface. They were so delicious for a “free” cocktail in a beauty salon. Not too sweet but dangerously potent.

Apparently the cocktail flavors vary week to week, and there’s a two-drink maximum. A shrewd limit considering any more would make you too tipsy to mind your wet polish.

Finally they were ready to take us but asked us to choose our colors first from the collection of Essie and OPI nail polishes on display. I went with Essie’s Rock the Croc, a lovely shade of red but also described as “an exotic mahogany.” It sorta matched my cocktail and complemented my skin tone. Lisa went for a sparkly silver, forgoing the black nail polish she had in her purse. She’s so punk rock, I love it.

The manicurists then sat us down in a lovely room where we could chat side by side. And what didn’t we chat about, that is, me, Lisa and the manicurists. These girls were lovely and hilarious. I had to make sure I didn’t move around too much from the laughing when my girl painted the lacquer on my nails.

After our second cocktail we were all having a grand ol’ time. The only problem I had with my manicure, actually two, was that my manicurist didn’t ask me if I wanted to have my nails cut or filed down so my nails were different lengths. And my two coats of polish weren’t enough to give my nail color a uniform look, rather, they looked spotty. My manicurist said that OPI and Essie differ like acrylic paint and watercolor, with the former providing thicker coverage than the latter.

In any case it made me want to return to Main Attraction where I usually go for my $20 mani/spa pedi and where they usually ask if I want my nails filed or trimmed. Sure, I won’t get a drink but at least I’d have the extra dough to buy myself a cocktail elsewhere and lovely nails to show for it.

If anything Peponi’s happy hour was more for a fun, alternative way to spend a girls’ day out. OR you could be more proactive than I was in my happy happy state and ask them to file or cut and make sure to opt for OPI instead of Essie.

If you miss happy hour Thursdays, know that the salon also serves wine and champagne every day of the week.

List of services, which includes eyelash extensions for only $40. Hm?

853 Lincoln Boulevard
Venice, California 90291 (map)
(310) 450-7195