Walking into Compartés, which has a location on La Brea just south of Melrose, is a lot like entering a museum gift shop: Shelves are stacked with beautifully printed bars of chocolate, adorned with wallpaper-like wrapping that reflects the content’s flavor profile. Just as beautiful are the chocolates themselves, where truffle tops are printed with colorful swirls, plaid and more, making the buyer question whether they’re picking up art or chocolate. Yet there's something for the traditionalist, too: turtles and chocolate-dipped orange peels are among Compartés’ top sellers. You can also find their gourmet, beautifully packaged bars at several retailers around town, including Bristol Farms, or shop entirely online.
For thousands of years, humans have craved cacao-based treats and delicacies—the 16th-century European iteration of that being the chocolate most people in the United States know and love today. Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or just hoping to score a sweet treat of your own, these 12 L.A. chocolate shops will be there to facilitate a sweet, dopamine-spiking reprieve from modern life.
And, you know, with the future of cacao uncertain amid the worsening climate crisis, an indulgent box of high-quality gourmet chocolate may soon be a rarity, so enjoy cacao-based sweets while you still can.