The Tortoise General Store philosophy: slow and steady wins the race. As applied to the household goods sold by the Japanese-owned shop, this means thoughtful, durable items that are as beautiful as they are functional: Sori Yanagi teakettles, bent-wood cedar bowls, vases made out of river rocks, iron incense burners and such. Yes, some of the merchandise falls into the aspirational range (at $600 for a Tendo mushroom stool, you may want to just sit on the floor). But solid craftsmanship doesn't always translate into “investment” pieces. Tortoise packs a decent selection of inexpensive mugs, toys, notebooks, plates, soap, clocks, containers and other basic living requirements into its tiny storefront. Everything here resonates with a reverence for the deceptively simple loveliness of everyday life. 1208 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 314-8448,

Gendy Alimurung

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