You Can’t Go Wrong
In preparation for a recent trip to Los Angeles I asked my foodie friends for recommendations for the best chocolatier. Compartes Chocolatier in Brentwood was the #1 recommendation.
When Samuel and I had a couple of hours of free time, we went on a mission…one bakery and one chocolatier; a challenge to accomplish, but we felt up to the task. The bakery, Sweet Lady Jane, will be blogged, separately, as both locations are worthy of their own post.
Compartes was the perfect find and Samuel and I spent a good bit of very worthwhile time chatting with owner and incredible chocolatier, Jonathan Grahm, about the business. The very hip presentation of their chocolates gave me the impression that this was a relatively new endeavor. I was very surprised to learn that the family owned business has been around since 1950.
The shop, while small in space, feels warm and inviting. One wall is lined with Compartes boxes, very crisp and clean looking. Not wasting an inch of wall space, chocolate barks of various kinds of fruits and nuts are displayed in clear packaging next to the demonstration window. Had we arrived on a day other than Saturday, we would have been able to watch through the glass how Compartes makes its chocolate creations. It would have been fun to observe; however, I was completely satisfied just looking at and trying the finished products.
One area that I loved in the store was one I was not able to photograph, because it displays Compartes new and very cool packaging, which will be premiered in an upcoming magazine spread. The prepackaged vibrantly colored boxes contain their most popular chocolate truffles as well as their Love Nuts.
I make my own chocolate covered nuts, and have always thought I did a pretty good job; that is until I sampled an Almond Love Nut. At that point I realized that I would never be able to duplicate this taste at home. Compartes’ Love Nuts are hand roasted nuts, caramelized with Tahitian Vanilla, sprinkled with a pinch of pure sea salt, then layered 14 times in their delicious signature organic chocolate blend and topped off with raw cacao powder. Compartes sums these creations up best, “Crunchy nuts + sea salt + chocolate = heaven!”
My very favorite spot was the display case that was filled with various chocolate creations. The truffles are like individual works of art. Compartes uses only the finest and freshest ingredients. Combine that with Jonathan’s ingenuity and creativity and Compartes has a winning combination.
Samuel and I loved the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Truffles. The richness of the chocolate is heavenly and the flavor of the sea salt and caramel melded into one perfect flow. Truly special. Yet, so were the other flavors that I tried – Dark Chocolate Marzipan, Salted Pistachio and Hazelnut Nougat, just to name a few.
One other treat that I was unable to resist bringing home was a jar of their Peanut Butter + Honey + Sea Salt. This takes a jar of peanut butter and elevates it to a whole new stratosphere. Jonathan told me that some people use this when making peanut butter tarts. Others choose to spread it on crackers or ice cream. As for me, I know there is only one way I will be eating this delectable concoction…straight out of the jar.
Los Angeles is a gigantic city with many chocolate shops from which to choose. Yet, regardless of where you are in the city, it is worth driving through the insane LA traffic to get to Compartes Chocolates. If you do not live in LA and/or do not want to make the drive, do not fret. Compartes has a user friendly website from which you can order or you may call the shop directly, and someone will be able to answer all of your chocolate questions.
Whichever way you get to Compartes, I am guessing your biggest challenge will be same as mine; deciding which to try first. The good news is that with over 72 varieties of truffles, not to mention all the other delicious treats, it is not possible to go wrong with whatever you select.Compartes Chocolatier 912 South Barrington Los Angeles, California 90049 310-826-3380 www.compartes.com