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Some weeks, our mani-pedis are our only 90 minutes of respite, so they?d better fire on all cylinders. Sure, we want great-looking nails, but how about lovely surroundings, a glass of something sparkly--and while we?re at it, air that doesn?t smell like a meth lab?

A new salon on West Third Street is our new nail nirvana. Polish Bar is a visually smart boutique with teal walls and a black-and-white photomural of Rita Hayworth. It offers free refreshments. Best of all, there?s none of the usual cloying chemical smells.

That?s thanks to the tight edit of Zoya polishes for manicures ($16) and pedicures ($27). The brand is an industry pioneer in ?5 Free? formulation, which means no carcinogenic formaldehydes, endocrine-disrupting phthalates or other nasty ingredients. For $5 extra, super-sensitive types can opt for scentless Acquarella polish. (We were wowed by this water-based formula, which didn?t chip for a week.) 

But what about polish removal, the worst olfactory offender? Polish Bar uses Acquarella?s alcohol-, petrochemical- and acetone-free remover, with a hint of aloe. So the only thing tickling our nose was the Champagne bubbles.

Polish Bar, 8101 W. Third St.; 323-951-1080 or

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