Tortoise General Store


By Sarah Lagrotteria

Tucked into a little split-level bungalow on Abbot Kinney are all things wonderful Japanese kitchen-style.  Tortoise General Store is easy to miss, but keep an eye out as you stroll down the road for a window display of pottery and cookware that is both elegant and earthy.  Or, check their online store and blog.

My favorite Tortoise product is their Tenugui cloths.  These are essentially Japanese bandanas (you might recognize them as what Mr. Miyagi wrapped around his head), but the patterns are so much richer and the fabric so much softer to the touch.  I haven’t tried them as headwear but I do swear by them as napkins,  kitchen towels, and hostess gifts.

Here’s my current collection:



See how soft the cotton looks after a few washes!  Like the butteriest of old cotton Ts.

And here’s TGS’ new fall collection:


Personally, I’m not so into the bunnies (maybe it’s just me, but red eyes scream rabies), but I love the big Chinese mum print in the second row! And are those figs at the top left?

Per the saleswoman’s advice, I cut the long cloths in half to make perfectly-sized napkins, leaving the edges to fray which is quite nice.  I like to mix the patterns and set them against solid plates for a happy, casual look.  When they get dirty just toss them in the wash.


3 Comments on Tortoise General Store

  1. nicole
    October 6, 2009 at 5:44 pm (13 years ago)

    do you think my boyfriend will mind when the kitchen drawers are full of Tenugui cloths ? Love.

2Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Tortoise General Store

  1. […] chef’s knife, 1 pair tongs, 1 fish spatula, 1 regular spatula and two tenugui cloths for […]

  2. […] article inspired me to purchase a new fall collection (you can see my old one here) so that I’ll be ready for my Thanksgiving […]

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