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Los Angeles has more stores than anyone could physically tackle, but somehow we always keep returning to the usual suspects. To break out of the rut, we've asked some local shopping and fashion gurus to provide their hidden retail gems—those unique stores around LA that we might not all know about. Cue the Beatles: We're about to get a little help from our friends.
Image via Yelp
Tomoko Kurokawa is an LA native who spent a good chunk of her childhood growing up in Tokyo. She’s a doctor who specializes in Urgentology, tending to surgical trauma in the Urgent Care Center in an LA hospital. Her real passion is humanitarian medical work, and she’s been all over the world (Africa, Southeast Asia, and most recently Japan and Haiti after the earthquakes) to volunteer as a doctor for disaster projects. But when she needs to step away from her demanding job (and channel her memories of time spent in Tokyo), she frequents Tortoise General Store, a Venice emporium with a Japanese influence. Did we mention that she documents her love for food and travel on her website, Tomostyle? Now we did.
"This neighborhood gem on Abbot Kinney Blvd is a temple of Japanese aesthetics, specializing in Japanese arts and crafts hand-picked by husband & wife owners Taku & Keiko. The elements come to life at the hands of Japanese artisans in the form of ceramic rice bowls, porcelain sake sets, glass flower vases and cast iron paperweights shaped like cute animals. Quirky Isamu Noguchi lamps to light your bedroom, Sori Yanagi butterfly stools for the living room, iron garden clippers for ikebana projects, bamboo whisks for a proper tea ceremony, Hario ceramic coffee drips for a tasty morning brew, and colorful art projects for the kids- there is inspiration in every corner of this store. In the studio out back, they offer wood carving, handweaving, soba making and T-shirt printing classes taught by local Japanese artists. The Tortoise annex down the block takes a more fashion conscious approach with Comme des Garcons leather wallets, hand crafted gold jewelry, pop-art leather bags and Nobuyoshi Araki photography books that explore the world of stylish eroticism."
· Tomostyle [Official Site]
· Tortoise General Store [Official Site]
· All Shopping Confidential Posts [Racked LA]