Luxury Chocolate Shops
By Victoria Namkung
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, it’s time to indulge your sweet tooth at one of the local chocolate salons featuring wildly creative and chic offerings.
Malibu Lumber Yard recently welcomed the ChocolateBox Café (3939 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, 310-456-7977; chocolateboxcafe.com). This full-service café houses a hot-chocolate bar serving 12 types of the beverage, along with artisanal pralines, ganaches, truffles and buttermilks with creative ingredients such as chili pepper, green tea, ginger and gold dust. Valentine’s Day brings customized options for spelling names or terms of endearment. “Our customers have passionate responses to our chocolates,” says owner Zareh Baghdasarian. “One woman said they were better than sex.”
Inside Teuscher Chocolates (9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, 888-443-8992; teuscher-bh.com), you’ll find the store’s signature velvet heart-shaped boxes stocked with rich truffles boasting a variety of fillings—from Champagne and vodka to cocoa and raspberry. Anything you purchase can be wrapped in colorful Valentine’s Day packaging for that special someone.
Since 25-year-old Jonathan Grahm took over as chocolatier at Compartes Chocolatier (912 S. Barrington Ave., Los Angeles, 310-826-3380; compartes.com), the organic confections have gotten so glamorous they’re almost too elegant to eat. Almost. “People get past the edible artwork once they bite into one of our chocolates,” says Grahm, who debuts his limited-edition passion fruit, lavender and mango-saffron truffles for Valentine’s Day.
And don’t worry: A significant other may be required to enjoy Valentine’s Day but definitely isn’t needed to savor these chocolate-y treats.