New Belgium Chocolate Shop Just Opened!
- pleasurepalate Aug 12, 2006 07:48 PM
Hey everyone! While at dinner at Taylor's Steakhouse in La Canada, one of my friends mentioned that a new chocolate shop just opened down the street that evening. The name of the shop is the Chocolate Box Cafe. So a bunch of us walked over after dinner to check it out. The owner was on hand and really gave us the scoop on the chocolate.
The chocolate themselves are all imported from Belgium and they have a shelf life of 6 to 8 weeks, I think he said, so every 6 to 8 weeks, a new batch of chocolates come in. There are over 300 chocolates that will rotating in and out, which means that you'll get a good variety. He has also plans to host chocolate and wine pairings, chocolate tastings, etc., so of course, with my dining group, I've already talked to him about setting some private events up.
They also have gelato that they import from Italy and in the near future, they plan to serve hot chocolate drinks as it gets colder. I didn't try the gelato, but apparently, it got the thumbs up from some of the people who went with me. All of us were able to sample at least 1-2 of the chocolates and I ended bringing a box of 12 home, so I get have my own chocolate sampling at home. I have to tell you these chocolates are great. They're creamy. They melt in your mouth and the flavors really permeate the chocolate.
The first one I tried was a dark chocolate mango ganache and you could taste the mango essence. Since then I had their almond truffle and the truffle itself was coated with shaved almonds. It was yummy. I still need to work through the rest of the pieces and I'm definitely looking forward to it.
Chocolate Box Cafe
714 Foothill Blvd.
La Canada, CA 91011
Stopped here on our way to Descanso Gardens this afternoon. The girls are lovely, the shop tastfully done, and chocolates float from wall to wall but, nothing compares to Compartes!
Tried several. Found the ganache to be without much flavor and the cremes, grainy. I especially wanted a rich raspberry - Compartes is the bomb! The lemon gelato or sorbet (?) however,is fab! :( KQ
If you'd like to see the interior of the this shop, click the link below:
After sampling about 12 different chocolates that I took home, I have to say that I felt that the ganache did have flavor. When I bit into the green tea chocolate, I tasted green tea. When I bit into the ginger chocolate, I tasted ginger. What bothers me is that there was a slight after taste to these chocolates that I didn't find appealing at all.
As for the truffles, I had the whiskey essence, the champagne essence and a few more. I'm not much of a drinker, so I can't say whether I really tasted even a hint of whiskey or the champagne, but the truffles without the couverture were creamy and melted in my mouth, so I was happy about that. They were a little too sweet, but in general, I'd probably get the truffles over the ganache with the couverture anytime.
By the way, one of my favorite chocolate shops is L'Artisan du Chocolat. Their chocolates are always really creamy and I really enjoy their unusual flavors, everything from kumquat to kalamata olive to their Aztec chocolates (apricot and three different types of chilies), all of which are dark chocolates. You can check out their website at:
I've yet to try Compartes so I'll have to make an effort to check it out sometime.