I love chocolate! I mean REALLY love chocolate! So much that I talked my husband into letting me create a tour around it. So in February 2011, TOURific Escapes introduced our first Chocolate Indulgence Tour for Valentine’s Day. Since then we have taken lots and lots of fellow chocolate lovers around the city to sample and admire some of the most mouth-watering and beautiful chocolates you can imagine. We have gotten to know the chocolatiers and their staff and in the process learned just a wee bit about the stuff that makes so many people happy. In honor of Valentine’s Day 2013, please enjoy this list of some of my favorite places for chocolate in Los Angeles.
The best chocolate candy
Compartes Chocolatier in Brentwood: unique and creative flavors made by hand in a little shop just off busy San Vicente Blvd. Owner Jonathan is never too busy to talk chocolate.
John Kelly Chocolates in Hollywood and Santa Monica: many people get addicted after one bite, the salted bars are my favorites, and I recommend the chocolate and caramel with red Hawaiian sea salt.
Littlejohn’s English Toffee in the original Farmer’s Market: handmade before your very eyes, Littlejohn’s namesake toffee is sweet and crunchy and has just the right amount of chocolate.
Madame Chocolat online store now, soon to debut a beautiful boutique in downtown LA: Hasty Torres (the Madame to Jacques Torres Mr. Chocolate) makes the most beautiful (and sweet) glitter truffles and Christian Louboutin glitter high heels!
The best chocolate pastries
Essential Chocolate Desserts in Culver City: per their name, this shop specializes in all things chocolate, including ice-cream, candies, baked goods and beverages. Some standouts are Melissa’s dingdongs and mini cake truffles.
Jin Patisserie in Venice: while the candy and desserts resemble works of art (and taste just as good), it is Chef Annabelle’s chocolate mint macarons that have me going back for more.
MILK located mid-city: while staff tells me the blue velvet cake is their best seller, try the Ooey-Gooey Double Chocolate cookie. Rich, moist and chewy, it would be perfect dunked in a glass of milk.
Sinners and Saints in Venice: as the name implies, Elysa and Dustin make treats for their gluten-free guests as well as those who can have it all. Seriously good either way!
The best places to learn about or enjoy other chocolate goodies:
Big Man Bakes in downtown LA: I have not met him yet, but this man can bake! His chocolate frosting has a hint of almond flavoring and his chocolate cake is just like mom used to make.
Fancifull Gift Baskets in Hollywood: known for their gift baskets, owner Wally and Terry know a thing or two about specialty chocolate (and cheese and wine for that matter)!
Grub Restaurant in Hollywood: known for their playful food, Grub offers a Melted Chocolate Sandwich (think grilled cheese but with chocolate and whipped cream) that is best enjoyed with a few crumbles of their house specialty, crack bacon.
Paciugo in Hermosa Beach: This authentic gelato shop & caffe in the South Bay has a nice array of flavors, including chocolate. I counted no less than 40 varieties of chocolate gelato flavors.