Purists. The world could do with more of them. And when it comes to chocolate, we're talking about uber-fine ingredients culled from four continents, crystalline sharp companion essences and the modern redux of a Brentwood candy shop that first brought European-style chocolate to the Los Angeles area in the 1950s.
Purity also comes in the form of youthful exuberance and creativity. All of this can be found at a chocolate shop on Barrington Avenue called Compartes. Mrs. Comparte might be surprised, but titillated to know that her namesake is now run by a passionate 22-year old entrepreneur named Jonathan Grahm. One of the heirs of Bonny Doon Vineyards, Grahm took the reigns of the famed Compartes shop to become not only an "artisan destination for chocolate lovers" but a profitable business. Without any formal culinary or business training, the young chocoholic is having the time of his life and building a loyal list of faithful cacao addicts. "There are only four of us here, but we consider ourselves artists," he gushes. "I love what I do so much," and it shows in the best selling ganache truffles that pair exotic flavors of chilli, curry, green tea, lemongrass, mango/basil, tamarindo papaya and raspberry pink peppercorn into little bites of heaven.
Far beyond your run of the mill culinary artist, Grahm sees no boundaries to his world of chocolate and attempts to turn his love for the stuff into experiences such as the annual valentines chocolate tasting menu, lavender and rose petal infused marshmallows and candelit dinner parties on his Barrington Avenue patio that feature a menu of flavor themes from sweet to savory. "We still make Mrs Comparte's original recipes like the homemade peanut butter cups, but we've added new product lines that are wowing the neighborhood and Angelenos in general."
Compartes Chocolatier has a very different feel than machine made Godiva. "We are as gourmet and epicurean as it gets, but we're approachable, friendly and a visit here might be more about a conversation than a purchase.