Incredible Places to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Gourmet Chocolate
Written By: Elaine Cutting
Chocolate can be a culture, a form of art, passion, lifestyle and most importantly a labor of love. Some chocolate makers create pure chocolate straight from the bean while other chocolatiers prefer to melt top quality chocolate and craft something exquisite. Whatever the method, each task produces a blissfully delicious take on that classic sweet treat. Offering everything from savory chocolate bars, to warm drinking chocolate, to pieces of stunning artwork, these six gourmet masters of chocolate are sure to satisfy any craving for that rich, heavenly goodness with their own unique and delightful twist.
The delightful chocolate of L’Artisan is made in the traditional French method with less preservatives and less sugar. The chocolate business is owned by husband and wife Christian and Whajung Alexandre and the store resides where the two first met. Whajung Alexandre makes and inspires most of the chocolates. Born in Korea, Whajung has always been enamored by France, inspiring her to move to Paris and study chocolate making for six years. The combined influences of Asian and French flavors can be seen in L’Artisan chocolates such as Umami, French Marzipan with Krisch, Earl Grey, and Griottine au Cognac.
3364 W First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Compartés Chocolatier has been in business for over 66 years. The current owner, Jonathan Grahm, a Los Angeles native born and raised, has reimagined the chocolate shop with a sharp focus on modern gourmet style. Made with fresh local Los Angeles ingredients, many flavors are meant to bring up nostalgic ideas such as S’mores, Donut & Coffee, and Cereal Bowl. However, the product at Compartés is viewed as beyond simple chocolates. The wrappers and chocolate are made into award-winning pieces of art, all of which are inspired by local LA themes. Designs include house made patterns and prints, photos of local art that Grahm takes himself, Grahm’s pet dogs, and a collection in collaboration with renowned Los Angeles interior decorator Kelly Wearstler.
912 S Barrington Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90049
In 2009, Diana Malouf quit her full-time job to pursue the world of chocolate, and anyone who has tried an Ococoa treat thanks her for it. Diana focuses on Middle Eastern flavors and imports top quality ingredients like jam, molasses, and dates straight from Lebanon. As Diana is not a fan of sweetness herself, she likes the fillings to balance out the sweetness of chocolate in a more flavorful and exciting way. Her specialty is found in butter nut chocolate cups, which are each made with striking visual aesthetic, whether it’s vibrant green pistachio or beautiful decorative print. The best flavors include a classic and extra creamy Peanut Butter Cup; a delightful Sunflower Cup with dark chocolate, sunflower butter, and sunflower honey; and her personal favorite, a fruity Sesame Fig.
2835 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
There are three traditions to which ChocoVivo adheres: The first is to use quality cocoa beans from a bean farmer that they know and trust. The second is utilizing the 2, 000-year-old method of grinding these beans with stones, for a more genuine texture and pure flavor. And lastly, there are no fillers or extras, so all additional flavors are stone ground in with the beans. For 16 years, ChocoVivo owner Patricia Tsai has been perfecting the art of chocolate manufacturing. She quit her corporate office job and went to Mexico where she discovered that chocolate isn’t just candy, it’s food with a rich cultural background. Popular flavors include; Almond and Sea Salt, Mayan Tradition, Shangri-La, and whatever is in season at the local Farmer’s market.
12469 W Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90066
Chocolate Opulence is a delightful combination of chocolate and French pastry shop, selling delicious chocolate truffles and bars alongside colorful French macarons. Their handmade sweets are crafted by small local artisanal chocolatiers, and each one is positively opulent with color and flavor. The cozy store is tucked neatly in historic Japanese town, Los Angeles. Popular flavors include Espresso Sea Salt Caramel, Cognac Truffle, Whiskey Bourbon and Garlic. Yes, Garlic, which is made with grated garlic dark ganache.
2011 Sawtelle Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Amara Barroeta is a self-taught chocolatier whose Venezuelan roots heavily influence her creations. A combined café and chocolate shop, Amara Chocolate and Coffee offers everything from truffles to spicy drinking chocolate, to coffee, to traditional Venezuelan dishes. Each warm drink goes fabulously with the warm churros which are also sold at Amara. Barroeta uses the best Venezuelan chocolate mixed with flavors that are inspired by other places and people she has encountered. For example, some of her most popular chocolates include the Little Tokyo chocolate, which is white chocolate with wasabi and the Hangover, which is made of 61 percent dark chocolate with chili.
55 S Raymond Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105