From the name, you might think Exotic Spa was that kind of massage place. Instead, it's the spot where you will get the best foot massage in San Gabriel. In recent years, foot-massage places have popped up in this part of town like mushrooms in an overwatered lawn. They all cost about the same — $15-$20 for an hourlong massage — but the quality varies widely. Some are dirty, drab affairs with sad-sack men morosely massaging tootsies with vats of Vaseline. A few things make Exotic Spa the best. For one, included in your 20 bucks is a full-body Shiatsu-style massage before your foot massage, on a cushy massage table, not sitting up leaning over a stack of pillows, as is customary in a lot of these joints. Second, after your body massage you get a face and scalp massage with lychee-scented oil. Third, although every masseuse here is good, some really raise the bar with techniques you'd otherwise find in a physical therapist's office. It may not be an untoward rubdown, but you'll definitely leave with an afterglow. 702 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel; (626) 281-1730.

—Samantha Bonar

LA Weekly