Madame Chocolat is a confectionery located just across the street from the Montage hotel and Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. Not a bad location, eh? Oh, and the chocolates aren’t bad, either, considering their pedigree: The shop’s owner, Hasty Torres, is classically trained in the art of chocolate making, and she’s married to New York chocolatier Jacques Torres. You can’t really go wrong with anything in this store.
Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’
Valerie Confections: This L.A. chocolatier has themed boxes for Valentine’s Day, with intense flavors in both. The Pour Elle 11-piece box comes with white chocolate and rose petal hearts, and dark chocolate and passion fruit ganache hearts. The Pour Homme boxes come with semi-sweet chocolate hearts made with toffee pieces and fleur de sel, and dark chocolate hearts filled with liquid caramel. I actually prefer the Pour Homme sweets — the liquid caramels are to die for — though the passion fruit ganache is really nice, too. (Full disclosure: Valerie Confections’ owners are my neighbors, and I received these chocolates as a gift.) Check out the Web site for more options, including a Pour Homme gift set with single malt scotch truffles!
Wanda Gale Design: This Falling Heart necklace ($69) made from either gold or silver and semi-precious stones (shown below in gold and citrine) is a cute and fashionable way to say “I love you” — or “I like you a lot.” Whatever. Or buy it for yourself because you love yourself!
Charmed Circle: For the guys, there are these Nut and Bolt cuff links ($165 for silver) that are super cool and chic. There are also cool gifts for gals on here, too, including really unique and playful charms. The envelope, bird in a cage, and chandelier charms are ingenious.
I have never been to the original Fraiche in Culver City, though I had heard good things. So when Marshal and Will of FoodDigger invited me and other foodies to a “mini” tasting event at the new Santa Monica location, which recently replaced Riva, a small-plates concept that shared owners, it sounded like a great way to compare the old Riva to the new Fraiche.
I’ve been to Riva once, but it was right before the announcement was made to convert the space into Fraiche, so I didn’t blog about it. I enjoyed my meal there, though I did feel it was a bit overpriced, which may have contributed to the restaurant’s demise. No matter; the new Fraiche under Chef de Cuisine Sydney Hunter (who was also with Riva) is elegant yet accessible, a great combination.
To celebrate Halloween and the coming of fall, Valerie Confections is holding an open house all this week with free goodies for anyone who drops by its store. There are different sweets featured each day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Last weekend, I attended the Los Angeles Luxury Chocolate Salon, a totally insane event filled with all kinds of chocolate products that basically turned the Pasadena Conference Center into a crack house for chocoholics. You think I’m exaggerating? I was hip checked at one point by an overzealous chocolate grabber, pushing me out of contention for a piece of something or other, which at this point, is mostly a blur. But some chocolate stood out more to me than others, so here were my favorites.