Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Extravaganza: Trip to Los Angeles

Lest you think that I was trapped in a world with minimal chocolate offerings all last week, I am happy to report that my business trip had me run off to Los Angeles mid-week, and in advance, I researched shops that I might be able to visit. It turns out that Beverly Hills is home to several fine chocolatiers, so I headed a bit north and west when I had some free time, and started by stopping by an old favorite: Teuscher.

This shop had all the Teuscher offerings I was used to, including bars, pralines, truffles, and giandujas. In addition to being able to pick up some of my favorite truffles and bars, I got to meet Jackie, who I’ve exchanged twitter messages with in the past. My final haul included a box of mixed truffles, pralines, and other chocolate treats – both old favorites and new treats to review – as well as three bars: a milk chocolate praline bar, a dark chocolate chili bar, and a 66% cocoa dark chocolate bar.

After something familiar, I ventured to something unknown: K Chocolatier.

I was optimistic, as Jenny rated their chocolates with 5 cherries out of a possible 5 cherries. Though the shop was small, the atmosphere was large. I was greeted by the owner, Diane Kron, who immediately offered me several chocolates to sample and proudly discussed the history of her business.

That woman there? She personally made chocolate for Jacqueline Kennedy back in the day, and still offers the same truffle recipe that Ms. Kennedy declared to be her favorite. After sampling it, I can understand why. These chocolates are truly impressive, and I left with a bag full of delicious chocolates to enjoy.

My haul? The infamous Jackie-O truffles. Some chocolate covered marzipan. A bag of chocolate-pomegranate creations. A sizeable bag of pure 80% cocoa dark chocolate discs. And several complimentary crispy teddy bear chocolates. Oh my. So glad I read Jenny’s review and stopped in.

I next ventured to another Beverly Hills establishment that was blogger-recommended: Madame Chocolate, which Carl informed me was run by Hasty Torres, the wife of the famous Jacques Torres.

Inside, I found quite the d├ęcor. Wow.

The chocolate inside wasn’t generally all that exciting. The offerings honestly included chocolate covered Cheerios. And Oreos. Um, what? There was, fortunately, a display of hand-crafted truffles, from which I selected four small chocolates to enjoy.

After finishing up my tour of chocolatiers in Beverly Hills, I headed back to Los Angeles to examine Compartes Chocolatier, which Jenny also holds in high regard.


They had some intriguing chocolate bars on display, which prominently featured large pieces of dried fruit and nuts.

Since I prefer add-ins to be well-dispersed throughout the bar, I instead opted for a small box of truffles that the gentleman managing the store that day proudly informed me were made entirely with organic ingredients.

Though I was impressed with what these chocolatiers had to offer, I’m most impressed that I fit everything in my carry on. Next time I travel to LA, I may try to pack even more lightly to allow more room for chocolate from some of these establishments.

Have you ever been to any of these shops? What did you think of them?

13 comments:

  1. Teuscher...jealous. I dream of those bars you sent me and can't wait to go one of their shops someday!

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  2. Wow, you had quite a journey trying out all these chocolates; I'm jealous! It's nice to see you had some successful visits, since Kentucky was decidedly sub-par. :D

    Also, on a whim I Googled "teuscher atlanta"...and am sad to report that while there *was* a Teuscher chocolate store in my vicinity, it appears to have closed. Sad panda. ;_;

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  3. Those Diane Kron chocolates were literally the best I've ever had in my life. I'm thinking about calling and having her Fedex me some more.

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  4. You know, I just realized that I'm almost 100% positive that I went to the Teuscher shop in Portland 4 years ago. It was after an (unsuccessful) audition during my retail/eating therapy ritual. :) I'm curious about what's in the Jackie-O truffles!

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  5. never been to any of those! teuscher... must seek that one out!

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  6. @Mary at n00bcakes Yeah I was pleased with the haul from LA.

    I was also sad that the Teuscher store in Atlanta shut down this summer, because I was in Atlanta just this winter and there was no good chocolate. *Tear*

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  7. @soyourenewtodc We can go in together on a shipment. Which were your fav?

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  8. @Jessica @ bake me away! The Jackie-O truffles are DELISH. And so cool that you got to a Teuscher shop. Did it have all sorts of frilly boxes for wedding favors? I was at that Portland shop in...May 2010?

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  9. @Shannon Hit up the Newbury St. shop for me - there isn't a store in DC.

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  10. Ooooh, how exciting! Can't wait to see the reviews of all of these :)

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  11. @Hannah I think we should do a chocolate meet-in-the-kind-of-middle in LA.

    Or Hawaii.

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  12. Oh my! I may get to LA in a few weeks. THANK YOU SO MUCH for this brilliance in a post. I don't have to do my usual scrabbling around and begging for info. This is AWESOME!

    *squeee* SHOPPING TRIP!!!

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