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A Murder Mystery and Artisan Chocolates at Encino’s The Chocolate Bar

Posted By Karen Young On October 27, 2009 @ 11:33 pm In Featured,Food,My Daily Find,Restaurants,spotlight,Sweets | 3 Comments

carole rosner90BY CAROLE ROSNER

My family loves chocolate. It’s one of the main food groups in my house. We have the bittersweet, the semi-sweet, the chunks, the chips and the bars. When I bake cookies my husband wants me to add so much chocolate that he cries (in both joy and fear). Now just imagine the reactions I got when I told my family I’d been assigned to write about The Chocolate Bar — an entire shop devoted to all things chocolate. All I can say is there was some jealously in our household that day.

The Chocolate Bar owner LaTonja Simpson

The Chocolate Bar owner LaTonja Simpson. Photos: Carole Rosner

LaTonja Simpson and her sisters had a dream of opening a premium, artisan chocolate store that encourages the customer to take time to savor the specialties. The Chocolate Bar, an all female, family run shop located in the back of an Encino mini mall, models itself after a famous chocolate lounge in Chicago. With tables and chairs, flat screen TV’s and comfy couches, it’s a great place to share a treat or enjoy some quiet time.

The Chocolate Bar, open since May 2009, offers small batch, top quality chocolates produced by hand from France, Switzerland, Brussels and the United States. Popular choices include caramel mushrooms (a caramel “stem” with praline and nougat covered in dark chocolate), dark chocolate covered truffle fudge (made in Los Angeles with French grey sea salt), Mendiants (a traditional French confection with a solid chocolate disc, hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds and candied orange peel) and an emerald green dark chocolate caramel that’s infused with rosemary . There are adorable holiday themed chocolates too.

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The Chocolate Bar offers top quality chocolates produced by hand from France, Switzerland, Brussels and the United States.

Chocolate-dipped Oreos, shortbread cookies and in-house-made chocolate covered s’mores are also on the menu. LaTonja told me customers ask “Can you dip my…??” She said The Chocolate Bar would dip anything as long as it’s not alive!

Three types of fondue are also offered and it’s such a generous serving that “no one has finished a bowl yet.” Chocoholic drinks can be ordered too—frozen hot chocolate (four different types), Italian sipping chocolate (very thick and rich) and dark chocolate Chai tea to name a few.

Chocolate truffles

Dark chocolate covered truffle fudge made in Los Angeles with French grey sea salt.

If you’re watching your waistline, The Chocolate Bar does have a selection of sugar free chocolates from Brussels. There are also lots of unique chocolate themed gift items that’ll satisfy your sweet touch without adding any extra calories.

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The Chocolate Bar carries chocolate specialties from candy to drinks and gift items.

17312-A Ventura Blvd Encino, CA 91316 (818) 784-7714 Open Weekdays 10am-7pm; Sat 9am-7pm  Closed Sundays www.thechocolatebaronline.com

“Chocolate and Murder Event”, 8pm Friday Oct. 30. $35 per person. Interactive murder mystery where the guests are part of the show. Includes chocolate appetizers and desserts.

Carole Rosner is a native Valley Girl who has lived in Studio City for the past 11 years. She is a strong supporter of her local public schools and an active volunteer in her neighborhood. Some of her favorite things to do in Studio City are to celebrate 4th of July at CBS Radford, walk along Ventura Blvd. and browse through the racks at Crossroads Trading Company.



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