MICHAEL TOWEY'S store Empiric on Beverly Boulevard is an artful mix of the vintage, the functional and the anthropological -- glass beakers, phrenology figurines, metal filing cabinets, boxes of antique British butterfly collections. The store's new Culver City offshoot, however, has a bit more of a feminine touch. The taxidermy curios here are slender horns rather than a boar's head. One window display includes a five-tiered acrylic icicle chandelier. "Michael would never put that in the other store," says Culver City manager Annie Crowninshield, above. A recent visit yielded cool finds, including a vintage aluminum squirrel nut cracker ($275), period vases ($75 for the amber piece above and $135 for the footed vase behind it) and a restored 1930s Northern Electric phone ($325). The space has something of a museum quality, so it fits right in with the art galleries nearby. 6021 Washington Blvd.; (310) 842-9777; www.empiricstudio.com.
-- Jeff Spurrier