Pure California Sunshine
Dipped in Chocolate
Comparte's of California
Angelenos spend a lot of time griping about what they can't
find here: the lack of real New York or Chicago-style pizza,
Philly Cheesesteak or Maryland crab cakes. A barbecue discussion
is likely to get nasty with St. Louis, Memphis, Texas and
the Carolinas competing for highest honors. But, what about
our superb year-round farmers markets and vibrant ethnic
outposts in Monterey Park, on Sawtelle, and in Westminster,
Cerritos and East L.A, to name a few?
Comparte's of California to the list of homegrown pleasures.
This is a gourmet chocolatier and candy maker extraordinaire.
Sure, you can trot off to Europe and come back righteous
about chocolate, but Comparte's will convince you that there's
plenty worth trying right here on the Westside. They've
been in business since 1950: that's a long time, but I'm
ashamed to admit I just found them a few weeks ago. Another
well-kept secret, I suppose.
is serious about what they do. Everything is fresh and obviously
made with great care. While they sell everything from spectacular
gift baskets to chocolate novelties, come here for the glacé
fruits and small-batch chocolates. The fruits are pure California
sunshine, distilledand no sugar is added. We tasted
pineapple slices, apricots and orange peel that had been
hand-dipped in dark or milk chocolate. All were exquisite:
chewy but tender and intensely flavored. Every home should
keep a supply of the chocolate-dipped orange peel on hand.
one sinful sitting, with the help of a 2002 Marquis Philip's
Sarah's Blend, we devoured a toothsome sampler of assorted
chocolates. It included the aforementioned fruits, an exquisite
chocolate-covered Oreo, and an assortment of hand-dipped
truffles and chocolates that we're still talking about.
The hazelnut sticks were a perfect mix of salty, crunchy
roasted nuts, and smooth chocolate. There were luscious,
silky truffles of all sorts: orange, vin de glacier, hazelnut,
and framboise. The walnut meltway was amazing.
is a friendly neighborhood shop where you'll get professional
assistance. It's the kind of place that has just turned
out a batch of cocoa-dusted chocolate-covered almonds when
you walk in. "No" is not an option when they offer
you are not at all in a chocolate mood, visit Comparte's
anyway and try their Stuffed Fruits. These are various combinations
of dried apricots, prunes, dates and figs, with almonds
and walnuts. But chances are that you will break when you
see chocolate-dipped fresh fruits and those addictive chocolate-covered
pretzels and graham crackers looming in front of you.
In addition to their Brentwood location, Comparte's sells
a wide assortment on their website at www.compartes.com.
912 South Barrington Ave. (South of San Vicente)
Los Angeles, CA 90049