No floating tea candles or Enya music in this tiny studio in the back of a West Hollywood salon — just a white bed, a fluorescent light and a table where the implements of torture reside. But Painless Waxing delivers where it counts, and very nearly manages to live up to its name. Maybe it's owner Larisa's charming accent, which lulls clients into believing they're just checking in for a spot of tea and some blintzes. Maybe it's the hairstylists gossiping cheerfully in Russian, an ongoing distraction to the goings-on down below. Maybe (probably) it's the power of suggestion. Does it matter? When it comes to having hot wax poured on our private parts by a total stranger, most of us will take whatever solace we can get. 7963 Beverly Blvd., W. Hllywd.; (323) 240-1991,

—Sarah LaBrie

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