My journey with TOIRO started with just an idea and a few pieces of Kamado-san donabe rice cooker in LA in 2008.
As a native of Tokyo, Japan, I not only have grown up eating rice, but also have developed a palate to appreciate the best quality Japanese and international cuisines thanks to my parents. When I first tasted the rice made by this double-lid donabe rice cooker, Kamado-san from Iga, Japan back in 2007, I was blown away! It was no doubt the best quality rice I had ever tasted and didn’t even need any condiments because it was just so delicious as itself. The rice made by Kamado-san was so shiny and fluffy, and it was so easy to prepare. It tasted better than any rice cooked with any kinds of rice cooking tools I had ever tried. So, I contacted Nagatani-en, our relationship was established immediately, and I started importing only a few pieces of Kamado-san at a time in 2008.
My passion for donabe grew even bigger and I continued to increase the lineup of the donabe products in the next years. I also kept being active doing donabe cooking classes and events in order to spread donabe cooking in LA and other cities. In 2015, after years of planning and 3 years of production, I published a book, DONABE (Ten Speed Press). This book was the first English language book dedicated to the subject and the book received many accolades by media including San Francisco Chronicle (The Top Cookbooks of 2015) and organizations including IACP (DONABE was a Finalist for IACP - International Association of Culinary Professionals 2016 Cookbook Awards in the International Category).
In October 2017, my first brick-and-mortar shop, TOIRO, finally opened its door in West Hollywood, LA! The shop features so many different kinds of authentic Iga-yaki donabe and pottery products by Nagatani-en, and also a wide variety of artisanal kitchen tools and tableware, personally selected by myself, from all over Japan. The shop is a wonderland of unique and specially crafted items, and my hope is that this will become a space where you can come visit not just to shop but also to enjoy learning about donabe cooking and Japanese food culture.
All our donabe and Iga-yaki products are handmade by Nagatani-en (established in 1832) in Iga, Japan. These artisanal earthenware products are loved by both professional chefs and home cooks. TOIRO is the official US representative of Nagatani-en, and we are also committed to bring many other hand-selected artisanal products from all over Japan to help making your “eating life” a little more fun and better. Our mission is to promote wonderful Japanese food culture and happy donabe lifestyle through our shop and products. I will continue this exciting journey with TOIRO with all my passion.
Thank you for your support for Iga-yaki donabe and healthy donabe lifestyle.
Naoko Takei Moore
Happy Donabe Life.
Owner of TOIRO
Naoko has been living in Los Angeles, California since 2001. She is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Program at California School of Culinary Arts. She also has a Wine Expert certificate by Japan Sommelier Association. Naoko has the healthy passion for good food and wine.
Our donabe are also loved by top chefs and restaurants in the US. These are among the restaurants that support our authentic Iga-yaki donabe products in the US.
Single Thread Farms (Healdsburg, CA)
Otium (Los Angeles, CA)
State Bird Provisions/ The Progress (San Francisco, CA)
Orsa & Winston (Los Angeles, CA)
MTN (Venice, CA)
Ardent (Milwaukee, WI)
Rintaro (San Francisco, CA)
Necco (Los Angeles, CA)
Alimento (Los Angeles, CA)
1257 N La Brea Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90038
Hours: Tue - Sun 11 am - 6 pm (Closed on Mondays)