The palate is a hard mistress. Frequently skipped but always desired, dessert is the epitome of indulgence, and can often spark an inner-debate. Luckily though, the inner turmoil that arises from simply perusing the dessert menu sets on as quickly as it’s dashed, melting away into the moment you allow yourself to give in. Of all culinary temptresses, chocolate reigns supreme as the ultimate hedonist. In the interest of journalism, we summoned our inner Wonka—the Depp version—to round up six delectable LA spots doing some sinfully savory things with cocoa. You’re welcome.
WEST HOLLYWOOD | HERRINGBONE AT MONDRIAN
WHAT TO GET | CHOCOLATE PRALINE BOMBE
The dedication to visual presentation begins upon entering Mondrian’s lobby and continues until the last bite of your meal. The chocolate praline bombe is a culinary creation, appealing to both eye and stomach. The ingredients read like a beautiful sonnet: frozen hazelnut mousse, chocolate nut crunch, crème fraiche, and orange blossom. These small bites only remind us of the inevitable—that the edible poem has a conclusion. That is, unless you order seconds.
ECHO PARK | VALERIE CONFECTIONS
WHAT TO GET | CHAMPAGNE PETITS FOURS
If you truly live in luxury, put your money where your mouth is. Valerie Confections gives you twelve perfectly squared ways to do just that. Dive into a box filled of rich Petits made of rich butter cake, layered with Champagne ganache, hand-dipped in dark chocolate, and topped with edible, 23-karat gold. It’s the rappers chocolate—opulent, extravagant, and just a little showy. Hurry up with our damn Champagne Petits Drizzles.
CULVER CITY | JIN PATISSERIE
WHAT TO GET | SMOKEY CHOCOLATE
Math has never been our forte, but throw in some chocolate and raspberry compote, and we’ll channel Pascal. This complex pastry is a moody, culinary rollercoaster—the concentration of cacao makes it smokey, the hazelnut feuilletine is a whisper of sweet, while the tartness of the raspberry is next level. The toughest part of this interesting amalgamation is definitely resisting the urge to inhale it.
DOWNTOWN | BOTTEGA LOUIE
WHAT TO GET | CHOCOLATE SOUFFLÉ
Conventional wisdom affirms that beauty takes time. Case in point: the 15 minutes it takes to make the Louie soufflé. Better known as a premiere macaroon purveyor, insiders are well aware that this LA establishment rewards the virtuous few that have the patience to wait the few extra minutes. Adorned with vanilla bean crème anglaise and set against an all white, marble decor and tea-candle lighting, this isn’t just dessert, it’s a first-rate dining experience.
WEST HOLLYWOOD | GLAZED DONUT BISTRO
WHAT TO GET | SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL’s FOOD CAKE
The prospect of dipping donuts into a Belgium chocolate glaze made us giddy, but it was the crushed, homemade streusel, chocolate drizzle, and the sweet and salty pretzel toppings that made both our eyes and mouth water. Pair it with their house-made raspberry or caramel sauce, and our sugar high just leaped to new heights. Just one bite, and we realized we couldn’t go back to plain glazed or jelly-filled. Think we’re foodies now.
MID CITY | COOKS COUNTY
WHAT TO GET | CHOCOLATE BRIOCHE
Did the ice cream necessarily need to be a rich caramel? No. Did the pecans really have to be candied? Probably not. Is Cook’s Chocolate Brioche with Caramel Ice Cream and Candied Pecans all the better for it? Absolutely. With a generous portion of all the main food groups—ice cream, cake, chocolate sauce—Cook’s makes the answer to, “Is there room for dessert?” an obvious one. The concept of sharing, however, becomes far more problematic.