L.A.’s Craft Chocolate Scene Is Exploding
Single-origin, bean-to-bar, dark, milk, ganache, bonbon: Craft chocolate in L.A. takes lots of designs and kinds. Unifying them all, however, is a growing wave of artisanal chocolatiers concentrated on producing deals with that appearance as charming as they taste.
Valerie Gordon, whose pioneering Westlake store, Valerie Confections, debuted in 2004, now offers silky truffles and chocolate-dipped toffees sprayed with fleur de sel at 3 places throughout town. Jonathan Grahm of Brentwood’s Compartés provides a variety of brilliantly packaged bars that are speckled with whatever from increased petals to breakfast cereal at his Wonka-esque Century City store-front (which is equipped with a properly whimsical chocolate water fountain). At Letterpress Chocolate in Beverlywood, David and Corey Menkes change raw cacao beans diligently sourced from farms in Ecuador, Ghana, or Peru into intricate single-origin developments; at ChocoVivo in Culver City, self-taught chocolatier Patricia Tsai follows a comparable design of sustainability when it pertains to her rustic cacao-based goodies.
Kriss Harvey, previous pastry chef at the Marketplace by José Andrés, is leading the charge at andSons Chocolatiers, a soon-to-debut confectionary concentrating on sparkly melt-in-your mouth bonbons, while Milla Chocolates, a pop-up-turned-boutique run by art world alum Christine Sarioz, is going far for itself with elegantly covered praline bars, candied fruits (she handcrafted the orange piece on our cover), and caramelized nuts enrobed in spice-accented coverings.