Zouk is the tale of two sisters… having only the best of times. Jenny Best and Katharina Tagliaferro, two Swedes with purpose and pizzazz, have always loved traveling together to far off places. Based in Los Angeles, and Australia, respectively, Jenny and Katharina’s love for travel, artistry, and charitable pursuits inspired them to open their truly unique new boutique, Zouk Los Angeles.
Zouk can, of course, be found on Montana Ave., Santa Monica’s Mecca of the marvelous and unusual. The store itself is almost like a portal or a magic wardrobe that transports you to exotic lands filled to the brim with the finest goods from each corner of the world… Moroccan candles, Turkish towels, Indian pillows, Peruvian alpaca wools, Portuguese ceramics, Thai ice buckets, Swedish jewelry and art… And that’s just a fraction of the bevy of goods found at Zouk. Vintage wares abound, as well as revamped and recycled fabrics, mirrors, and Persian rugs. Plus the shelves of the spacious store are made with re-purposed scaffolding planks. So cool.
Everything in the store is a one-of-a kind gift for someone special. It’s your choice if you tell the recipient you just got back from a trip to Thailand, or clue them in on your new find in sunny Santa Monica. I vote the latter, of course, because it’d be good karma to share this place.
The best part of Zouk, however, is charity. For every item that you purchase, Zouk will donate 3% of the selling price to a charity of your choice. Inspired by international, national, or local causes? Zouk has it all on its charity list—Green Peace, World Food Program, Heal the Bay, and Ocean Park Community Center—beautifully inscribed on the enormous chalkboard above the register. Chic and philanthropic.
Here’s the thing about Zouk—I want to live there. Seriously, I want to bring my laptop and lounge the day away on their lush couches and cushions with imported pillows, in one of their baby-soft bathrobes. With portraits and fabulous artwork adorning the walls, and cases of fantastic ethno-awesome jewelry… what more could you ask?
So next time you find yourself meandering along Montana and you wander into Zouk, and you see a funny brunette girl smelling the bath salts on the coffee table, and reading Luxe Guide books about Singapore and Indonesia—that’d be me. I’m a fan.
Zouk Los Angeles
1311 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403
About the Author, Annie
Annie is a recording artist/writer who delights in personal alchemy, whimsy, & quantum physics. She can often be found drinking tea, eating cake, or changing the world. She blogs about the delicacies of daily life in the city of angels at www.cityofannie.com
All pictures taken by Buy Local Market photographer, Da Xu.
Coming Soon to Santa Monica – August 2011 Edition
Get a sneak peek at some of the new restaurants, shops, hotels and events coming to town in the next 30 days. And for all the latest, you can also subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
California Shabu Shabu | 930 Broadway Santa Monica | Menu | Visit Website
CSS brings shabu-shabu, the Japanese take on Chinese hot-pot to Santa Monica. With shabu-shabu, you are the chef. You oversee a pot of boiling water in the center of the table, submerging a variety of thinly sliced beef, noodles, vegetables and spices at your own pace.
California Shabu Shabu expects to open its doors mid-September.
Greens Up! Salads | 3101 Main St. Santa Monica | Menu (PDF) | Visit Website
Less than a year after Chef Robert Yamarone first brought the ‘healthy, crisp, alternative food’ Greens Up! Salads serves to Montana Ave., Greens Up! is coming to Main Street.
Greens Up! allows you to create your own salad or choose from their chef selections. The produce is locally grown, farmed in an environmentally conscious way and much of it is organic and gluten-free.
Look for Greens Up! Salads on Main St. and Marine soon.
Next Door by Josie | 2420 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica | Visit Website
Josie Le Balch of Josie’s Restaurant is opening a new casual farm-to-table eatery next to the original Josie’s restaurant (featured @ 4:52 above) called, Next Door by Josie. Clever.
The restaurant is expected to open August 26th.
**[Update 9/14/11] The restaurant is now open. See our full review and pictures here.
Tender Greens | 201 Arizona Ave. Santa Monica | Menu | Visit Website
Tender Greens is set to open their 7th location in Santa Monica this August. Known and loved for their commitment to their locally sourced, fresh ingredients, Tender Greens is a natural fit for Santa Monica.
**[Update 9/14/11] The restaurant is now open. Subscribe or check back for our review.
Giggle | 1120 Montana Ave., Santa Monica | Visit Site
Giggle’s newest store opening in early September is your one-stop source for a smarter nursery. Their collection of innovative, functional and health conscious baby products includes baby items from fun, bright bedding and furniture to gear, toys, baby care, cleaning products, and more.
Shore Hotel | 1515 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica | (800) 599-1515 | Visit Site
Shore Hotel is Santa Monica’s new green, independently owned, luxurious beachfront hotel scheduled to open October 1st. Shore Hotel is the first and only newly constructed Silver LEED registered hotel in Santa Monica. Inspired by the convergence of Southern California’s spectacular natural landscape with a unique urban fabric, Shore Hotel is the destination of choice among oceanfront hotels.
The Good Food Festival | Sept. 14-18 | Various Locations around Santa Monica | Visit Site
The Santa Monica Farmers Market celebrates its 30th Anniversary with the inaugural Southern California Good Food Festival & Conference. This unprecedented 5 day event will focus on regional and national issues integral to building a local and sustainable food system while supporting the needs of California family farmers.
TEDxYouth@SantaMonica: Define Yourself | Sept. 24 | Visit Site
TEDxYouth@SantaMonica is partnering with Santa Monica High School to create a TED experience for 500 local youth centered around the theme of defining yourself. Together, they are assembling an exciting and inspiring program of live speakers and TEDTalks for a memorable day of fun, insight and revelation.
The conversations will cover such diverse topics as soccer, porn and graffiti, but will always be guaranteed to make you think a little differently about how you define yourself, and are defined by others.
Check back for full reviews and photo slide shows for each of these events or subscribe to get them sent straight to your Inbox.