What to do when you've got a sweet tooth but only the most stylish chocolate will do? As luck would have it, one of L.A.'s top chocolatiers has you covered—especially if you're on the Westside.
You may recognize Compartés' now-iconic chocolate bars, each variety housed in its own eye-catching, specially designed box, and if you happen to visit Westfield Century City, you can now find a whole wall of them in the company's new storefront. Located on the first floor, this sweets sanctuary comes complete with a truffle case, hand-painted tile, custom light fixtures and a so-cute-it-hurts walk-up window where you can order frozen hot chocolate topped with some of the treats you'll find within Compartés' signature bars.
All photographs by Rozette Rago.
"I like to describe the store as golden Gatsby meets Emerald City meets California cool," says owner Jonathan Grahm, who enlisted the eye of celebrity designer Kelly Wearstler to bring the stylish space to life. In fact, the two even collaborated on a line of limited-run chocolate bars which, of course, you'll also find in the shop.
Though the chocolatier sells bars, truffles and other sweets next to its chocolate kitchen in Brentwood and even launched an extended West Hollywood pop-up, this is the brand's first permanent, designated retail space, and it's a real looker. There are geometric shapes throughout, mirroring the geometry of the bars, which break into triangles. It's a stylish area where Art Deco-inspired brass fixtures compliment marbled concrete, green lava bowls, hand-blown glass and a patina'd brass exterior. And, of course, there's the chocolate.
"This is brand new technology, nobody's ever done this before," Grahm says of the frozen hot chocolate, which only uses two ingredients: milk and 67% dark chocolate. There's no sugar, no eggs, no preservatives—just tempered chocolate that springs from constantly flowing brass taps, which churn with milk in a proprietary machine to create a thick, rich treat to hit the spot in this summer heat. And in fall and winter, you'll be able to walk up to the window for hot chocolate. "To think about a milkshake or ice cream, they've got a lot more than two ingredients—I would say that this is a lot healthier. Is it a health food? I don't know that I'd necessarily say that," he laughs, "but it's just chocolate and milk."
The shop opened last month without any fanfare or press, but it's already been selling out of the dessert daily—so much so that Grahm's already considering expanding the walk-up concept down the line. For the time being, you can order frozen hot chocolate, truffles, caramel sauces, bars and chocolate-dipped dried fruit daily, and on weekends you'll find chocolate-dipped strawberries, though those are headed for the everyday lineup. Soon, you'll be able to order frozen chocolate-dipped bananas and a few seasonal desserts from the mind of Grahm, who's been making chocolates in the family business since he was 14 years old.
Take a peek inside the new chocolate shop with our photos, below, then let us know what you think. Personally, we'll probably have a hard time exercising self control every time we stop by the mall—after all, Compartés is just around the corner from the forthcoming Warby Parker, Apple and Anthropologie stores, and what goes better with shopping than chocolate?
Compartes is now open at 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard in the Westfield Century City mall from 10am to 9pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 7pm Sunday.
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