|ChocoVivo's process explained.|
Another really cool activity in Los Angeles sure to please any foodie is an artisanal chocolate tasting in a boutique chocolate factory at ChocoVivo in Culver City. You can sample ChocoVivo's taste test menu on a walk in basis during normal open hours for just $5. I was lucky enough to join in on a private lecture and tasting after-hours with an extensive talk from the owner and chef Patricia Tsai.
Dark chocolate is a heart-healthy "Superfood." Ms. Tsai uses it in its pure, unrefined form along with whole herbs and spices to make exquisite drinks and bars. I was in heaven at her boutique, billed as the first Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Factory in Los Angeles.
|A demo grinder in the restaurant for up-close viewing.|
|Our luscious tasting board.|
|from the top down, 75% Cacao, Almonds & Sea Salt, Hazelnuts & Sea Salt, Macadamia & Coconut, Shangri-La (Black Sesame & Gogi Berries), and Mayan Tradition (Cinnamon & Hot Spices)|
|Proprietess Patricia Tsai spoke on chocolate sourcing and production.|
|A raw cacao bean.|
|The kitchen at ChocoVivo where the magic actually happens.|
|Meetup participants enjoying the event.|
|A dried cacao pod; the beans must be broken out from within a pod like this.|
|The actual grinder used at ChocoVivo. The ingredients are pushed through up to five times to make a bar.|
|Rustic necklaces of cacao beans are also available for purchase.|