You laughed (at the tickly pumice). You cried (when clumsy nicked your cuticle). You hurled obscenities (when everything chipped in less than 24 hours). Add a Southern accent, and your last mani-pedi could have been a scene from Steel Magnolias. (Minus the gooey female bonding and Dolly Parton’s rack.) Time for a more genteel experience. Like the one you’ll find at Julep, a cozy new nail salon in the U District. (Of all places.) The spacious spot has a flickering fireplace, warm wood accents, and modern decor. But it’s the extras that seal the deal: hospital-grade sterilizing equipment, paraben-free lotions, and reflexology with every treatment. Owner Jane Park wants Julep to be a gathering place (shocker: she’s a former Starbucks exec). So she custom-designed rearrangeable furniture (making groups and bridal parties a snap) and commissioned nontoxic polishes (which means no nasty smells). Thank you, ma’am, you’ll have another. Julep, 5001 25th Avenue Northeast, across from University Village (206-985-6644 or myjulep.com).