Where to find exotic chocolate in San Diego/Los Angeles
December 4, 2013 11:17 AM   Subscribe

This winter I'll be going to a holiday party to which I'll need to bring the most exotic chocolate I can find. Apparently some guests to this party start their search for exotic goods six months in advance because of reasons, but as I am new to this universe I'd like to at least attempt to bring something of note now that I've been allowed to join the inner circle as it were. Where in San Diego, Orange County, or Los Angeles could I get delicious but intriguing chocolate?

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Cacao, See's, and Godiva are too commonplace. I need to bring a bar or two or a small sampler, and ideally I don't want to spend over $30 but if it's chocolate from the gods or something I might spend a little more. Ideally I don't want to bring anything super bizarre like chocolate covered bugs, pickles, chips, etc because I want to be able to eat whatever's left over after the party. Vegan/soy free options appreciated. Technically I think it's supposed to be a chocolate bar as opposed to a candy bar but again, open to possibilities.

Thanks, and may the chocolate be ever in your flavor.
posted by These Birds of a Feather to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Try Eclipse in San Diego. Their website isn't super great, but they have all sorts of interesting flavors, including chili and sweet basil.

I can also recommend their hot chocolate if you stop into their cafe.

Good luck!
posted by too bad you're not me at 11:28 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Chuao in San Diego (if they're still open??), but also seconding Eclipse.
posted by raihan_ at 11:30 AM on December 4, 2013

You could try Chuao in San Diego North County.
posted by vacapinta at 11:31 AM on December 4, 2013

Try visiting Eclipse Chocolate (South Park) and Chuao Chocolate (Encinitas, La Jolla, Del Mar).You might also want to check out one of the Extraordinary Dessert locations (Little Italy, Hillcrest).

(on preview: Ha! everyone's in agreement. But also thirding Eclipse)
posted by rhythm and booze at 11:32 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Good chocolate (Belgian) will be >>$30 for sure.

The best chocolate I've ever had (in North America) comes from Bernard Callebaut; I suppose you could order online & have it shipped from Oregon.

You could try ordering some in from Geneva.

And here is another link from chocolate from around the world. (if you really want to impress)
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:33 AM on December 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Would ordering from some small chocolate factory on the other side of the country be exotic enough? Taza Chocolate is in Somerville, MA, which is pretty far from CA, and they make their own mexican-drinking-chocolate style chocolate from beans. If merely obscure enough enough, they've got some limited edition flavors going on, too, so it's the most obscure of the obscure.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:41 AM on December 4, 2013

(All of these are vegan.)

These aren't bars, but they're definitely what I would bring to a Fancy Chocolate Party: Xan Confections' Jewel Collection. You can get a dozen "jewels" for $22. Their California retail locations are listed here.

ZenBunni makes wonderful bars, and they're sold all over LA. I'd recommend the Kathmandu, which tastes like spicy chai.

Vosges also makes some incredible truffles and super dark bars with wild flavor combinations (banana and coconut ash!?). They have a storefront -- sorry, boutique -- in Beverly Hills.
posted by divined by radio at 12:01 PM on December 4, 2013

You can buy raw caoco nibs in bulk. Try a co-op grocery. If Whole Foods has a bulk section they might have them there, "commonplace" if you can get it there maybe, but most people have never heard of them.

Serve them so that people will take about 1/4 a teaspoon at a time, the flavor is very strong.
posted by yohko at 1:18 PM on December 4, 2013

fourth-ing Eclipse. They do their best to be locally sourced, and ethically sourced. They have several vegan selections, -all- their stuff is really good and most of it is a little off-beat, and they have a lot of options - bars, truffles, drinking chocolate, so even if you decide to branch out, they probably have you covered.

They have large and small sized bars too, so you can really mix it up.
posted by FritoKAL at 2:43 PM on December 4, 2013

If you have time to order online, Mast Brothers chocolate is pretty extraordinary. Mary and Matt also make some very unexpected bars, as they're unusual in a way that doesn't rely on surprising ingredients or combinations.
posted by dizziest at 3:17 PM on December 4, 2013

Both Eclipse and Chuao are great!
If you're looking for offbeat, Chuao has a bar called "Firecracker" with chipotle and pop rocks!
They also have ones with potato chips, or popcorn...
posted by exceptinsects at 3:17 PM on December 4, 2013

Response by poster: Ended up getting a couple of fun varieties from Taza, all of which freaked out the folks I brought it to which was hysterical and soooooo satisfying. I enjoy freaking rich people out. Thanks guys!!! Initiation into inner circle complete.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 11:09 AM on December 17, 2013

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