Affectionate Confections: 9 Luxurious Chocolate Treats for Valentine's Day

Courtesy of Brand

Forget Swiss chocolate. Put a Hollywood spin on Valentine’s Day with seven selections from L.A.-based makers beloved by J.J. Abrams and Rebel Wilson.

Send hugs and kisses on Valentine's Day with artisan chocolate treats curated with ruby cocoa beans, hazelnut praline, yuzu, passion fruit and more. Here are nine varieties to make this lover's day just right.

1. Milla Chocolates

“Milla Chocolates is a feast for the eyes and for the tummy,” says Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’s Breegan Jane of the 18-piece temple to the cocoa bean box. “The teal walls and the minimalist decor truly inspire my flair for interior design and the order in the space appeals to my type-A!” The feast for the eyes is matched by the shops feast for the mouth: “The Bon Bons are my soft spot for sure! Their offerings include faceted dark chocolate hearts filled with black sesame caramel and gold decorated fruit ganache favorites which include yuzu, passion fruit and raspberry covered in a thin layer of organic dark chocolate and topped with a gold-dusted, geometric mosaics; $65, 9414 Venice Blvd., Culver City, or millachocolates.com

2. andSons Chocolatiers

Whether for your significant other or your best palentine, you can’t go wrong with the grantLOVExandSons Valentine’s 36-piece box from 2nd generation chocolatiers Phil and Marc Covitz (their mother brought the original Swiss-based Teuscher to town) that pairs Los Angeles-based artist Alexandra Grant’s exuberant Love icon with a selection of andSons classic European ganaches and modern heart shaped bonbons in four seasonal flavors concocted by Kriss Harvey, former pastry chef at the Bazaar by José Andrés — honey ganache & lime caramel, hazelnut praline & black current, pistachio praline & raspberry caramel, and passion fruit, coconut and guava caramel. Plus, there’s a charitable component: a portion of proceeds from the sales of these boxes benefit grantLove project in support of artist projects and arts nonprofits. Notes Grant, “My vision for the symbol is that it become collaborative and philanthropic. Everyone wants to do something to help.” Nate Berkus, who designed Beverly Hills store, is a fan of the coconut ganache peanut butter cup. Talk about spreading the love. It's perfect for her beau Keanu Reeves; $98, 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, or and-sons.com.

3. Compartés

The tongue-tied might want to turn to Compartés to impart their amorous message. For the romantic holiday the 70 year old brand, revitalized by L.A. native and chocolate-obsessive Jonathan Grahm, is offering an array of chocolate truffles that spell out “I love you” or “Be Mine”. Ellen Pompeo, Chrissy Teigen, Hailee Steinfeld, Gisele Bündchen + Tom Brady, Mindy Kaling, and Gwyneth Paltrow, are all fans. Cats star, Rebel Wilson, accompanied by the Bellas, documented her December visit to the confectioner’s new factory on LaBrea, with its soaring stainless steel Italian-sourced equipment and 14-foot high brass doors, with a post on IG. “I went for a milk chocolate and donut combo cause why wouldn’t ya?” Cereal Bowl, Rosé Wine Pink Chocolate, Mixed Berry and Avocado are among the other offerings, wrapped in their signature high-art papers; $60, 516 N. La Brea Ave. or compartes.com.

4. LetterPress Chocolate

David Menkes of Letterpress Chocolate on Robertson brings the “terroir” concept to chocolate with his single origin certified kosher and vegan — even the sugar is vegan —sweets.  For Valentine’s Day he’s offering a selection four dark chocolate bars — with beans from Belize, Ecuador, Tanzania and Jamaica — as well as strawberries covered in chocolate from Guyanese beans and strawberry ice cream (the latter two are available for in-store pick-up only). Accompany the treats with chocolate-scented candles, a collaboration with Orville Andrews, made from the by-product of the candy making process. J.J. Abrams is a fan. $10 to $18, 2835 S. Robertson Blvd. or letterpresschocolate.com.

5. Edelweiss

The Berry Bar with strawberries and raspberries. $11, 444 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, or edelweisschocolates.com.

7. John Kelly Chocolates

Choose hand made solid hearts in milk, dark and ruby chocolate — a new type of chocolate from Brazil that has a natural pink color with an almost tart berry flavor — or one of their assortment boxes and towers in hand tied Valentine’s Ribbon. Their Chocolates Ruby Chocolate Hearts, made from ruby cacao beans are a sweet hit. Neil Patrick Harris, Keanu Reeves and Yara Shahidi have all popped in to John Kelly’s Hollywood shop; $13, 1508 N. Sierra Bonita Ave. or johnkellychocolates.com.

6. Edelweiss

Jane is also a fan of this long time LA favorite; their fabric covered heart shaped boxes are a classic declaration of affection. “Their hospitality is so much of why we love it but let’s be honest, it’s about the chocolate,” she says. “For me and my team, we seek attainable luxury but know when it’s time to splurge. This family-owned chocolatier hand-makes nearly all their delicacies in the back room. This place is also so special because it is the place that inspired Lucille Ball’s chocolate inspired episode of, I Love Lucy. We all remember Lucy and Ethel's relationship. I have great female friendships that I value always and especially during Valentine’s Day. We have been cutting out sweets in our house so when we have them, we really make it count! Our favorite item are the chocolate covered pretzels. The kids know the red Edelweiss bag and are always so excited to peek at what’s inside.” Need a cookie pairing? Try the Chocolates Box of 14 handmade chocolate-covered Oreos from the family-owned company open since 1942; $36, 444 N. Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, or edelweisschocolates.com.

8. ChocoVivo

CPA-turned chocolate producer Patricia Tsai is the brains behind this Culver City-based bean-to-bar shop and cafe. In addition to delicious slabs — whose recipes veto milk powder and soy lecithin — the cafe will be showcasing of treats worth showing up for including I Fondue You, which pairs fresh strawberries with warm dark chocolate dipping sauce. Serious chocoholics and their beaus might want to sign up for their chocolate making class which takes place on Saturday afternoons and includes champagne and wine; $15+, 12469 W Washington Blvd. or chocovivo.com.

9. Valerie Confections

Valerie Gordon and her partner Stan Weightman, Jr. have come a long way from the toffee they began selling out of their Westlake-based location in 2004. They now have three stores across town, two of which also serve lunch. Their sweet treats include recreations of legendary California desserts including Blum’s Coffee Crunch Cake, Chasen’s Banana Shortcake and The Brown Derby’s Grapefruit Cake and can be found in the gift bags of the WGA and The Golden Globe Awards. For Valentine’s Day, they’ve got a selection of 15 different boxes including The $100 Grand Valentine, which includes Gilded Truffles, Caramelia Hearts, Liquid Caramel Hearts, Red Hearts made of bittersweet chocolate and almond toffee bits, Golden Hearts, and Champagne Truffles; $10+, 3364 W 1st St. or valerieconfections.com.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.