Monday night I walked into Monsieur Marcel with the specific goal of finding a little local food maker doing something special. I took two steps into the store and approached a table of chocolate goods. A monogrammed white and brown box stuck out, asking to be examined. It was a box of two dark chocolate truffle fudge bars spiced with habanero and jalapeños–and it was from LA. The brand is John Kelly Chocolates, a small local chocolate maker that you’ve probably been intrigued by but didn’t know they were local.
The brand is based in Hollywood in a small storefront on Sierra Bonita. I’ve passed the place at least twenty times when walking or biking home and once took a photo of the space as a reminder to research them. Clearly we didn’t remember to do that. Anyway, the chocolates come in a very discrete packaging with their name, brand monogram, and a photo of the packaged fudge with whatever is in it. They look sophisticated and are certainly intriguing when compared to more purposefully rustic chocolates like Mast Brothers. We took home a box to try.
The package contained two small fudge rectangles neatly laid out as if they are a personal box of chocolates, an any-time-of-the-year Valentine you can give to yourself. They’re dark brown (approaching black) with a few drizzled chocolate lines on them. They are very understated and there are no bells and whistles to anything about them at all. The taste of them pose to be no-frills, a dense and smooth chocolate fudge without the influence of spice, but show themselves in a delicious subtle end note: the habanero/jalapeño makes an appearance as a strong cinnamon like spice with salt hints as you finish your bite. It’s both savory and incredibly chocolatey. I didn’t want to but I had to finish the entire chocolate piece. There was no other option.
The chocolates are good and we’re anxious to try other things they make. They are a “luxury” treat as their $10 price point informs you. They would be great to share with a special someone or as a gift. They’re also totally kosher as a mark on the bottom of the box says. You can find them at lots of local stores or pick them up online. You can get the chocolates we had here.