Handmade Japanese earthenware served up in West Hollywood
For Los Angeles cooking expert and author Naoko Takei Moore (aka “Mrs. Donabe”), the new Toiro is a dream nine years in the making. Moore has been importing and selling donabe (handmade earthenware pots) since 2008 out of her tiny Echo Park bungalow; now she finally has a West Hollywood showroom and storefront in which to house them.
Featured at Otium in L.A. and Single Thread restaurant and inn in Healdsburg, Moore’s handsome, thick-walled clay pots are made in more than 50 styles by the eighth generation of the Nagatani family of Iga, Japan. It’s an art form she’s passionate about introducing to California, as evidenced by her brilliant tome, Donabe (Ten Speed Press, $35), written with Kyle Connaughton of Single Thread.
Moore is also an ambassador for authentic Japanese home cooking and its tradition of communal dining, and the shop is stocked with the tableware and kitchenware she uses at home every day, including a square copper omelet pan, colorful origami chopstick rests, collectible sake cups and ceramic beer tumblers that keep beer cold. With so much to discover at this terrific new resource for lovers of Japanese cooking and ceramics, Moore is sure to make collectors of us all. 1257 N. La Brea Ave., W.H., 323-380-5052; toirokitchen.com.
Written by S. IRENE VIRBILA.
Photography courtesy of TOIRO.