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Dec 12, 2007 08:17 AM

Best "Indie" Chocolates in L.A.??

Hey Chowhounds...
I want to buy my honey a big box of artisan chocolates for X-mas and was hoping you all could school me in the best independently owned chocolatiers in L.A.
Thank you!

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  1. I haven't had the pleasure of getting into their next door neighbor, Valerie Chocolates, yet, but I've been partial to L'Artisan du Chocolat for years, back when it was Picholine Chocolatier. They are the friendliest store, and the flavor experiments are really fun.

    And again, Valerie is right next door in the little center on First Street:

    L'Artisan Du Chocolat
    3364 W 1st St, Los Angeles, CA 90004

    Valerie Confections
    3360 West 1st Street, Los Angeles, CA

    4 Replies
      1. re: Monkwell Slovenia

        I guess I should mention K Chocolatier while I'm at it, even though I'm not nearly as fond of her products. I find the chocolates too simplistic and way, way too overpriced for my tastes there. The proprietor has an ingenious way of selling: She plies customers with samples of each of her wares, inducing them into a chocolate stupor, leading them to want to pay prices that in their non-chocolated-addled mind they never would. Still, the chocolates filled with straight Johnnie Walker or Ketel One are unique and could be the perfect gift for someone.

        Note that Diane Krön is an observant Jew, so she closes her shop for the Sabbath, but it is open Sundays.

        K Chocolatier
        9606 Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

        1. re: Woolsey

          there's also a brentwood gardens location now.

      2. re: Woolsey

        first thanks very much for the websites--useful stuff for those of us perusing from afar.

        ye-gads! the valerie website has 2 pieces of chocolate for $7! L'artisian has a four piece box for $12---still scary but not as scary as valerie.

        my high end chocolate purchasing usually takes place in europe [example: Debeuve [sp] and maison du choco in paris] and involves "strange foreign currency" and a credit card so to be honest, I probably don't know what I have paid. But still, is $7 for two pieces worth it?

        can anyone report on valerie and compare her chocolate to L'artisan?

        anyone willing to accept the burden of a local chocolate tasting?

      3. consider chocolatt at 12008 wilshire blvd in west la
        it's belgian chocolate and the owner will give you a thorough lesson on the problems of the big coprorate chocolate makers (godiva) in the US
        it's a cute little shop and they do coffees as well
        chocolates are very good

        1 Reply
        1. re: paulfromla

          Strongly second the Chocolatt rec. Chocolate is great, the owner is super friendly, and the coffee is tasty too. They also have killer almond croissants -- I actually prefer them to the celebrated almond croissants at Amandine down the street.

        2. I was facing a similar dilemma last weekend and went to the Chocolate Box in La Canada (N of Glendale). Fabulous stuff. The owner spent lots of time and gave me lots of samples. The chocolates are great and the boxes are things of beauty.

          1. For Thanksgiving I bought a nice selection of chocolates from Mel and Rose (on Melrose and Kings). They have a great selection of indie and artisan chocolates and some other fun confectionaries and wine as well. Although they are not independent, LA chocolatiers you can still get a lot of fun chocolates there that you won't find in Whole Foods.

            1. Also try Jin Patisserie in Venice. They are around $2 each I believe.