Thursday, February 12, 2009
A Valerie Valentine: Valerie Confections
You would think that to find not one but two amazing handmade European-style chocolate stores on the same block in LA, you would have to head down to Beverly Hills, but the block of First Street just east of Virgil has become an unsurpassed chocolate lover's paradise. Adjacent to the excellent L'Artisan du Chocolat is Valerie confections, a newer addition to the chocolate scene.
Valerie has a smaller selection than L'Artisan, but their chocolates are excellent. They specialize in toffee (too bad I tried some too late for my Holiday Toffee-Off), and also have various truffles including a lovely, caramel truffle with a liquid filling akin to those at Boule. I also enjoyed an almond teacake, a dense cake with a strong almond flavor.
And of course, it's hard to go to Valerie without stopping next door to try the latest experiments at L'Artisan (the latest and greatest: the Mango Wasabi chocolate...it really is good!).
It's fantastic that, in only a few years, LA has had such a renaissance in artisanal chocolate. If you or your loved one is a chocolate fan, you can't do better than First and Virgil this Valentine's Day.
3360 W. First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Don't worry Cognac fans, Brandy Friday will return next week!