I first tried Valerie Confections toffee last year. Instead of large planks of broken toffee (which is nice in its own way), they make elegant squares with inventive infusions of flavor (and classic plain) and cover them in Valrhona chocolate in convenient little two-bite squares.
I thought that was a nice. Then I tried their Holiday Nougat and I was over the moon. Fresh orange zest and notes of honey all enrobed in dark chocolate ... fantastic. Earlier this year they had a similarly orgasmic lemon and hazelnut. Yeah, it's expensive, but there are very few artisanal companies out there making classic-styled nougat covered in chocolate and I'm a freak for that stuff.
I was very pleased to get an email from Stan that they're opening a store ... and near Silverlake no less!
I went by yesterday before they were officially open to the public and found their new space charming. For the customer, it's just a small storefront with short walls that give a great view of the candy kitchen. (The two other workers were there getting a huge array of sweets ready for the Concern event today. Rows and rows of pretty little chocolate dipped items ... just a delight to look at.)
There a glass counter and some shelves with their current assortment of toffees and even the holiday nougat. I also got to try part of their new line of baked goods - a little almond teacake. It was about four bites of a moist but dense and flavorful almond cake with a light sugar glaze with its base dipped in chocolate. They're also introducing their petit fours next week.
Will petit fours be the new cupcake?
I tried their new salt and pepper truffles as well ... they were divine. One is a simple 61% dark chocolate truffle with a little sea salt and the other is a dark chocolate truffle with more than a dash of black pepper - sassy and spicy and a little leathery in the notes the pepper adds. (They're $4 for a set of two ... which I think is about the normal price for high end truffles these days.) I've been hesitant to buy their stuff when I see them in stores, but there's something about buying it right where it's made that makes me more willing to pay the price (I know, it's labor intensive and the ingredients are top quality but I'm cheap sometimes ...).
The space is on 1st Street between Beverly and Commonwealth (south of that convergence of Virgil and Beverly where Silverlake Blvd. splits off).
I talked to Stan about their plans for the future and how they fit into my personal desires ... I'm looking for the ultimate dessert spot in Los Angeles, someplace that's open late, has a liquor license and serves incredible desserts and confections as well as wines and perhaps cheeses.
It also happens to be two doors down from L'Artisan du Chocolat ... so perhaps 1st street will become the new chocolate destination in Los Angeles.
Full photo assortment of the new shop here:
3360 W. 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90004
T - 213-739-8149
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