I have found my holy grail of chocolate stores on Wilshire Blvd. in West L.A.: Chocolatt.
It's run by a chocolate lover from Belgium who has very exacting standards. When you walk in, it's spotless and filled with every type of chocolate. He specializes in piece chocolate flown in from Belgium and he cycles everything to ensure freshness. He also has a few dozen different chocolate bars, and a hot chocolate that he developed himself.
I can recommend the following items:
- Bitter chocolate ganache piece chocolate: perfect dark chocolate surrounding a chocolate ganache that is the essense of creamy chocolate.
- Dolfin chocolate bar with grilled almonds: I could eat one of these every day.
- Hot chocolate: smooth but intense chocolate mouth feel, very rich, not sweet at all, with a slightly bitter finish.
The piece chocolate is fairly pricy, about what Leonidas charges. The chocolate bars are very reasonable for imported chocolate. The hot chocolate price I don't know, because my wife bought it for me.
There is a European flair to this place that I haven't found here in L.A. The whole notion of the apprentice who becomes a craftsperson then a proprietor, and who opens his own place to his own standards, is rare here. But Chocolatt is the real deal. You know it as soon as you walk in.
The location is the south side of Wilshire Blvd. at Saltair, which is just east of Bundy. It has red and white signs.
This is my first post on Chowhound, but I've benefitted many times from all of you here and I know Chowhound chocolate lovers will enjoy Chocolatt. I feel like I'm finally "giving back." If you try it, please report on your experience!