Los Angeles: Chocovivo
Patricia Tsai didn’t just open a chocolate shop. Her bean-to-bar philosophy starts with cocoa nibs sourced from a grower in Tabasco, Mexico, where they’re roasted and sent to her directly. In the shop, the staff grinds the nibs into a paste, similar to the way the Mayans and Aztecs did it more than 2,000 years ago. There are no fillers, additives or powders involved; no over-processing or tempering. She adds natural spices, nuts and dried fruits like blood orange and cherries, and there you have it: simple, delicious, pure dark chocolate in flavors like almond and sea salt, black sesame and goji berry, cherry and black peppercorn, coffee and vanilla bean, and blood orange and tonka bean.
Chocoholics unite: The chocolate-tasting bar at the Culver City shop and factory is unique in that you get a little sampler of the different chocolates, like you would wines. You can also go die-hard and try the 100% pure cacao with filtered water. Anyone who finishes it will be called a Mayan Warrior and probably feel like building a few pyramids.