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Aug 11, 2001 12:28 PM

Best Chocolate

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What are excellent L.A. area retail chocolates (truffels, etc.) I'm familiar with Teauscher (spelling undoubtedly wrong) and would like other suggestions. Thanks.

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  1. forget teuscher and neuhaus. and godiva is crap.

    the best chocolate in L.A. is available in Larchmont Village:

    201 N. Larchmont Blvd.
    Los Angeles, CA
    (323) 860-7966

    they get their goods weekly from Belgium. i used to visit their NYC and Paris stores often, and it is definitely the best bang for the buck!

    p.s. if you're a dark chocolate freak, like myself, i've found that the Lindt Excellence %70 Cocoa Bar is the best-best bang for the buck! usually runs 2 bucks for a 3.5 ounce bar.


    3 Replies
    1. re: Joe Blowe

      Kron's in Beverly Hill's is great.

      1. re: zeichner

        K Chocolatier is absolutely the best. The truffles are absolutely amazing!!!

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

        1. re: jsmillie

          A few weeks ago while driving in Malibu I made a stop to get a sandwich at John’s Garden and while walking around that nice little village of shops and playground I noticed a K CHOCOLATIER location. They were closed when I was there so I will have to return.for another sandwich at John's and look into this location of K.

          John's Garden Fresh Health STR (Sandwiches, soups and salads
          )3835 Cross Creek Rd Ste 1
          Malibu, CA 90265-6400
          (310) 456-8377

    2. Try to find a brand called Sharffen-Bergen (sp.?) from Northern California,can only vouch for their dark bittersweet, out of this world.

      12 Replies
      1. re: hana

        Scharffen-Berger is the best for baking. Find it at Bristol Farms; in candy bar sizes at Peet's coffee. Do they make truffles?

        1. re: hana

          Scharffen Berger is great stuff! I like the 70% bittersweet variety... the 9.7 oz. bar goes a long way. Very rich complex flavor. I used to keep it in my desk at work and people would come from other floors in the building when I put a plate of pieces out for sampling. Makes an awesome flourless chocolate cake!

          It's available locally a number of places -- I buy it at Surfas Restaurant Supply in Culver City, on National Bl. east of Venice 310-559-4770. Surfas carries all kinds of great provisions -- well worth a trip.

          A little company info... one of the reasons I first bought it was the story [after I tasted, I was sold] Surfas carried their line when it was first available around 5 years ago.

          Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker was founded in 1996 by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg with one simple goal: to make the richest, most flavorful chocolate from the purest and best cacao that can be found.

          The only American chocolate company founded in the last fifty years, Scharffen Berger has returned to the basics of chocolate making, using restored vintage machinery imported from Europe. The beans we use are carefully selected from small plantations found near the equator. They include the rare Venezuelan Criollos as well as varieties from Madagascar, Trinidad, Ghana, and Papua New Guinea. After each variety is roasted to taste in small batches, the cocoa beans are ground with large-crystal cane sugar and whole bean Tahitian and Bourbon vanillas before being conched into lush liquid chocolate. By carefully blending beans from many origins, we produce a chocolate with a dense concentration of flavors that are naturally present in cacao. A complex fruitiness and long rich finish bring the best of the world of chocolate into every bite.


          1. re: Patti B

            Have you seen the clip that one of the Food Network shows did on them? I think it was "The Best Of", but am not positive. I have wonderful dreams of "accidently" getting locked inside their factory for the weekend. I would end up looking like that German kid in Willy Wonka.

            1. re: Mike Kilgore

              Martha Stewart also did a 15 min. feature on them and their factory. They're so dedicated in their pursuit of the best cacao beans, the process, quality control. I'm starving for a bar right now.

              1. re: sunnyla

                Sounds great and I'll definitely give it a try, but I'm looking more for your confection style chocolate candies rather than the raw chocolate. Any ideas on that?

                1. re: SKU

                  Moonstruck Chocolatier, based in Portland, creates some of the most decadent chocolate piece candy I've ever tried. They use 60-70% cocoa solid chocolate and, like Scharffenberger, only use the finest cru cacao beans. I've included a link below, and from the site you can order samplers of various sizes.

                  Has anyone seen Pierre Koenig chocolates retailed anywhere in So Cal? This is a French chocolatier of the highest order, and theirs surpassed anything I've tried (with the exception of the aforementioned Moonstruck; they're on par with each other. I bought a box years ago in SF, but haven't seen any there in trips back. I found an e-tailer online, but their selection is a bit slim and I have the seasonal worry about shipping such a delicate perishable.

                  Any hints would be appreciated.



                  1. re: Kriss Reed

                    When I lived in Portland and had to go see my parole officier, I would treat myself to a chocolat eclair from Moonstruck after the meeting. The pastry was not as light as Parisian eclairs but what they lacked in subtlty they made up for in the instantly happy-making filling. These eclairs are not as good as they once were, when the company first started. They mass market them at the Whole Foods in Portland where they sit in a display case becoming stale.

                    But if the Moonstruck store still exists on NW 21st, go and get a chocolate egg cream before you die. They tailor make it with your specifications such as just a little cream and lots of chocolat syrup and soda. It's a great way to ingest high quality chocolate.

                  2. re: SKU

                    For a fast truffle fix, Trader Joe's sells Joseph Schmidt's truffles - it's a boutique chocolatier out of San Francisco. I don't know what variety Trader sells, but JS makes a wide variety. If you go to their website, you'll also see the other amazing confections they create. Truly visually stunning.

                    1. re: critical

                      Around last Christmas I bought some truffles at Trader Joe's (no, they weren't Jos. Schmidt). They were awful, I could taste the vegetable shortening in them. Blech!

                      The thing is if you're looking for enrobed centers that's one thing. But if you want a great truffle nothing's easier than *making* them. Three simple ingredients that are about as tough to deal with as cream and sugar in your coffee plus the liqueur of your choice. Even enrobing them is as simple as playing in chocolate if you follow Alice Medrich's non-tempered formula. But you can skip it and roll them in cocoa powder or ground sweet chocolate.

                      Go buy yourself some artisan chocolates by all means, but stir together some great chocolate (Sharrfenberger works jess fine!), some hot cream and a little bit of butter and you're home free. You can even keep it in the freezer and make just a few at a time.

                      Really, *much* better than Jos. Schmidt.

                      1. re: critical

                        Trader Joe's is a good call. They carry some Sharfenberger and they also carry a line of single origin chocolate that is excelent (I buy the yellow label). They also carry Droste, which I always fond satisying. Better yet, the prices are very reasonable.

                  3. re: Mike Kilgore

                    Dear Mr. Kilgore-
                    I fell off my chair at your post! The kid's name from Willy Wonka's was:

                    Augustus Gloop!

                    You are correct-the "Best Of" series on food network did a piece on Scharfenberger (sp)
                    chocolates, and I've found them at Gelson's, in large blocks, to my great delight!!

                    Thanks for providing a smile for my day!

                  4. re: Patti B

                    of course, HERSHEY'S owns scharffen berger now.
                    don't know if john or robert have any power whatsoever at this point. . . .

                2. the best retailer for chocolate in Los Angeles is the department store Neiman Marcus, in Beverly Hills. As well as selling Godiva, Josef Schmidt, and Rich Art, the best recommendations are Laderach, Neuhaus, and for the turtles, Neiman Marcus' own namebrand. Everything is sold per piece/pound so you can pick out a great personalized selection.Oh,and by the way, if it is for a gift, make sure and tell them to put it in a box and wrap it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: andrea

                    Neiman's chocolate counter is great.

                  2. Where they have Fran's from Seattle. Gelson's is one example.

                    1. Belgian chocolate after 4 tasting trips to there is overrated and the top ones are overpriced.