HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Best chocolates in LA?

Am rewarding two colleagues for killer performance and both love love love the chocolate. Any recommendations for the best chocolates in LA? (Something more personal than Godiva or See's?)

Thanks!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Teuscher makes some amazing stuff. Love the macadamia nuts that they roll in toffee then top with chocolate. Pricey, but delicious. They have a store in Beverly Hills. http://www.teuscher-bh.com/

    In Brentwood you can go to Compartes and get some of their handmade truffles with unusual and seasonal flavors. http://www.compartes.com/

    K Chocolatier in Beverly Hills. http://www.dianekronchocolates.com/

    Chocolatt From Belgium on Wilshire in W. La http://www.yelp.com/biz/chocolatt-fro...

    I like chocolate.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Azizeh

      Great list. I'm not really a chocolate lover, but the Compartes truffles are really beautiful.

      1. re: Azizeh

        Second on K Chocolatiers. They also have a location at the Malibu Country Mart.

        http://www.dianekronchocolates.com/

          1. re: LATrapp

            I recently took an informal chocolate tour of LA, and I would skip K. Common flavors, and VERY overpriced. $30 for a small bag of liquor filled chocolates.

          2. re: Azizeh

            Second on Compartes. Excellent chocolates!

          3. I third the Compartes. Pink peppercorn, ginger, etc., decorated with peppercorns/candied ginger/screened patterns as appropriate. A lovely visual.

            A rundown of multiple options: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/48208.

            For something different (and spendy!), Valerie Confections offers a "Death By Chocolate" box (http://www.valerieconfections.com/pro...) of three chocolate skulls. I haven't tried Valerie's offerings, so you may want to try a little first.

            1 Reply
            1. re: grinninggourmand

              Oh, and Lake Champlain chocolates (available at Bristol Farms) are really good.

            2. Technically Guanni Chocolates is based in San Diego, but I've ordered from their online shop with delicious results. http://www.guannichocolates.com/About (I heard about them on Good Food with Evan Kleiman.)

              1. Regarding truffles, this 2006 article exposing the Noka chocolate scam has some fascinating insights into the craftsmanship behind great truffles.

                http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php...

                Look at the final paragraph where there are photos comparing Noka's expensive scam truffles with truffles from true truffle artists. Then you can use that as the bar by which you compare locally available truffles.

                Mr Taster

                1. I highly recommend Valerie's mentioned above. Their chocolate covered caramels are insanely good, and the truffles and toffees are also excellent. It's expensive but worth it; presentation is also very nice. As a sign of how high end they are, they are my "go to" gift for a co-worker in Paris.

                  http://www.valerieconfections.com/

                  Their shipping is very efficient and reasonable if you are limited for time like I tend to be.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Heidi

                    third the recommendations for Valerie's. I recently took one of her preserving classes and got to sample a bunch of toffee and truffles during the class and they really were excellent, even for a non-chocolate lover like me. I recommended Compartes above, which I still think is great, but I prefer Valerie's after sampling both.

                  2. Jin Patisserie on Abbott Kinney in Venice. Great, fresh hand-made chocolates - and freshness matters a lot. My favorites are the mango-basil, the caramel-clove and the caramel sea salt.

                    1. L'Artisan du Chocolat, on First Street near Virgil. Fantastic, and definitely worth a trip. Check their chocolate menu here: http://lartisanduchocolat.net/Chocola...

                      1 Reply
                      1. I have three favorite chocolate stores:

                        A Beverly Hills store with great, old fashioned, American-style chocolates.
                        http://www.edelweisschocolates.com

                        Li Lac Chocolates in New York:
                        http://www.li-lacchocolates.com/

                        A New Hampshire chocolate shop that makes stunningly delicious and beautiful artisan bars:
                        http://www.byrneandcarlson.com/

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: abseygale

                          I discovered John Kelly Chocolates on my last trip to LA and they're without question some of the best chocolates I've ever eaten, anywhere.
                          Really amazing fudge, truffles, and my fave, dark chocolate turtles.
                          It's a small place off Sunset, around the corner from Cheebos.
                          http://www.johnkellychocolates.com/

                          1. re: abseygale

                            Edelweiss also has a location in the Brentwood Country Mart.

                          2. I don't think See's, a Southern California tradition, should be so lightly dismissed. Helluva lot more personal than Li-Lac from NYC.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Ideefixed

                              See's is certainly a SoCal tradition. I'm a native, and know many people, native and non, that love See's, especially the Bordeauxs.

                              1. re: Emme

                                See's is one of my favorites and chocolate lovers are always thrilled to receive a gift box or certificate.

                              2. re: Ideefixed

                                they may be a california tradition, but that doesn't transform them into high-quality chocolates.

                                1. re: Ideefixed

                                  I was thinking the same thing. Maybe it's me, but when I have tried expensive chocolates like some of the ones listed, I don't understand why they are considered so much better than See's.

                                  1. re: Scotty

                                    Nothing is better than See's California Brittle.

                                    1. re: maudies5

                                      Their Victoria Toffee is pretty jammin' stuff too.

                                2. While Littlejohn's at the Farmers' Market is famous for their English toffee, their chocolates, hand dipped there, are amazing. During the week you can watch them being made at the window in the back of the stall. I think they are as good as Li-Lac.

                                  1. I've ordered from Xuan chocolates ( www.xuanpatisserie.com ) the past couple of years and i've found the taste of their dark chocolate more to my liking than Comparte's. Plus if you order multiple boxes to give as gifts, the shipping is just a flat $5.

                                    1. Champagne Truffles at Teuscher’s! ‘Nuff said.

                                      Teuscher Chocolates and Café
                                      9548 Brighton Way
                                      Beverly Hills, CA 90210
                                      (310) 276-2776

                                      http://www.teuscher-bh.com/

                                      1. Leonidas - they have a location in Santa Monica on the corner of 4th and Santa Monica Blvd. (331 SM blvd.) Google maps shows a Pasadena Location and one on Larchmont in LA. The one in Century City is no longer there. Even after trying La Maison Du Chocolate in Paris, this is still my favorite (tied with La Maison, but still counts as #1)

                                        10 Replies
                                        1. re: OC Mutt

                                          I just recently returned from Brussels where I completed a chocolate tour consisting of tastings at Wittamer, Pierre Marcolini, Leonidas and Neuhaus. Leonidas and Neuhaus were at the bottom of the list (though still good chocolate).

                                          In L.A. I prefer Teuscher. I think their champagne truffles are better than anything Leonidas has to offer.

                                          1. re: joshekg

                                            As someone who "commutes" to Brussels on a regular basis, your list is right on...After eating the fresh creams from Wittamer, you are ruined for lesser chocolate. Fortunately, you can get Pierre Marcolini from their New York store (I have heard rumors that it is closing/closed?)...and Wittamer will overnight from Belgium ($$$$) Don't waste your money with Neuhaus and Leonidas...which are good when fresh but are rarely fresh in this country! Instead, try the chocolate from Chocolatt from Belgium on Wilshire Blvd. near Bundy...they import their product from a small manufacturer in Northern Belgium...and it is always fresh! It is not Wittamer (nothing is!) but it is the best in SoCal!...and they carry Galler bars which are an excellent Belgian brand!

                                            1. re: TravelPath

                                              "Instead, try the chocolate from Chocolatt from Belgium on Wilshire Blvd. near Bundy...they import their product from a small manufacturer in Northern Belgium...and it is always fresh! It is not Wittamer (nothing is!) but it is the best in SoCal!...and they carry Galler bars which are an excellent Belgian brand!"

                                              I can jump on board with you and Chocolatt. For European-style chocolates, specifically Belgian, it's great chocolate. We polished off a one-pound box over the course of a few days a couple of weeks ago. They also had some chocolate Santas left over from Christmas at fire-sale prices. I picked up five, and the we usually will break one into small pieces on a plate and nibble on it with a glass of port or even a merlot or riesling. "Is that Santa's elbow?" "No, think lower where he keeps his driver's license..." It's obvious for me that wine is better drank at home.

                                              One of my personal favorites there is their chocolate-coated orange peel.

                                              1. re: TravelPath

                                                how could i have forgotten Chocolatt? i discovered this place because i used to run by it every morning, and curiosity finally got me. a nice LA chocolate gem.

                                                1. re: TravelPath

                                                  Just an FYI...the ownership at Chocolatt has changed...an Italian couple from Northern Italy has taken over...and they promise to keep everything the same, including the supplier...The chocolates I purchased for a party last evening were excellent and well received by the very European guests (business associates from the Netherlands, Belgium and France)

                                                  1. re: TravelPath

                                                    I visited Chocolatt today and was so disappointed that the ownership had changed hands but was optimistic seeing the familiar favorites in the chocolate case. My enthusiasm was short-lived. The chocolate, unfortunately, is not the same quality. Some of the shapes of my favorites had changed, overly sweet fillings, change in texture, waxy taste, and off tasting, I know that the new owners were supposed to keep everything the same but something has happened. Very disappointing!

                                                    1. re: melanieclare

                                                      Interesting...I purchased some last Thursday and they were as before...and believe me when I tell you that I am a chocolate snob...I am very picky after living and traveling in Europe all my life...and the dark chocolate box I purchased was very good and fresh! I am hoping that you got a bad batch and that it is not the beginning of a decline in quality!

                                                      1. re: melanieclare

                                                        has anyone else gone to chocolatt recently? i need to get some fresh, not overly sweet truffles next week.

                                                        1. re: aizan

                                                          Yes...just last week...the chocolate was as good as ever...the cherry chocolates were wonderful!!...and a little "lagniappe"...the owner really knows how to make a fine Italian cafe (expresso)...and this from a good Roman boy!!...and his hot chocolate is excellent, made in a European manner...not too sweet, but very rich and thick!!

                                                  2. re: joshekg

                                                    I'll give you Neuhaus, that's excellent stuff (don't know if it's available in LA, but it's definitely available in NYC near grand central - and also in London). But I just can't get on board with Teuscher which I don't enjoy at all. Pierre Marcolini didn't didn't float my boat either.

                                                2. Edelweiss and Littlejohns for sure!

                                                  1. Lame, lame, LAME! If you have never tasted, much less seen how beautiful, the chocolate tasties made by Artisan Chocolatier Diana Phillips of Laguna Beach (http://dianaphillipschocolates.com/), you have missed out. Had some for Valentine's Day, and let me tell you, the flavor, the ingredients...hell , even the packaging were out of this world. Hands down the finest available. And all handmade. Delicioso!!

                                                    1. here's a surprise...a handmade artisanal box of chocolate from Providence pastry chef Adrian Vasquez? http://www.providencela.com/

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Orissa

                                                        I've thought this might make a nice birthday present. Anyone tried it before?

                                                      2. www.tifachocolates.com

                                                        This lovely store in Agoura imports chocolate bars from all over the world and also has amazing truffles. The owners are extremely knowledgeable and friendly.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: torchsong

                                                          The Chocolate Bar in Encino is similar. They have a wide selection of Vozges and verious other kind of bars, as well as a case with pieces from a lot of different makers. The salted chocolate caramels are especially good.

                                                          They also have a very nice seating area to enjoy some very decadent hot chocolate and mochas.

                                                          The Chocolate Bar
                                                          17312-A Ventura Boulevard
                                                          Encino, CA 91316
                                                          (818) 784-7714

                                                        2. My vote is for Jin in Venice. They are definately the best in LA. Teuscher is to mass produced and aren't fresh. Diane Kron are fine, but they really don;t offer that much. Xuan Chocolates are horrible. Valarie makes good toffee, but their truffles are very limited. L'Artisan do Chocolat are very good, but don;t match Jin. Leonidas are ok, but just like Teuscher, mass produced and aren't fresh. John Kelly chocolates are ok, but nothing to write home about.

                                                          For the love of god people, stay away from those so called Belgium and French chocolates, because if they;re here in the states, they're usually mass produced, which are frozen at some point and aren't fresh compared to US chocolatiers.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: sfandnyc

                                                            While I agree about mass produced chocolate and freshness...especially Leonidas and the overpriced Teuscher, I know that neither the Belgian Pierre Marcolini nor the French La Maison du Chocolat (both available from their New York stores) are mass produced or frozen...this holds true for the French Michel Cuizel available at a few local retailers (I get mine at Vicente Foods...always fresh)

                                                            1. re: TravelPath

                                                              I wish Michel Cluizel would open a shop in LA. He has a shop in NY that I did order from for Christmas gifts.

                                                            2. re: sfandnyc

                                                              I occasionally enjoy Jin and agree she is very good at making her chocolates (I believe she uses Swiss chocolate as a base). Kristy is very adventurous in her flavor combinations, but she doesn't do so just to push the envelope. I think it's her Singaporean roots that give her a different angle on tastes.

                                                            3. I also personally vote for Compartes and Jin Patisserie.

                                                              That said, I work in an office with some very picky chocolate snobs and we have received gifts of choclates from several places. The favorite hands down was Compartes, as not only was the chocolate special and delicious, they also presented it beautifully.

                                                              -----
                                                              Jin Patisserie
                                                              1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291