Warning: so many tempting photos of chocolaty desserts
As one of the most revered treats on the planet, chocolate captures the hearts and imaginations of people around the world. Dating back to the ancient civilizations of the Olmecs, Mayans and Aztecs of Mesoamerica, chocolate was used in drinks and even as currency.
Today, chocolate is used in blends with nuts, fruits, spices and liquors to create a complexity of flavors, and San Diego restaurants are happy to experiment. Here’s where you can find your chocolate euphoria around town:
Animae: Get ready to drool over the Chocolate Pavlova with Yuzu Mousse, a mouthwatering delight by executive pastry chef Adrian Mendoza. Featuring charcoal swirled meringue crisps and Concord grape and chocolate cremeux, this gorgeous (and delicious) dessert is the stuff of legend. Anime is located at 969 Pacific Highway, downtown, animaesd.com.
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse: Taking the candy bar to the ultimate gourmet heights, Del Frisco’s offers a Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Bar, a decadent dessert combining both smooth and crispy textures with ganache, vanilla rum sauce, white chocolate shavings and chocolate pearls. 901 Bayfront Court, Suite 105, Embarcadero, delfriscos.com.
Blade 1936: Nutella lovers will swoon for the Blade Sweet Basket by Chef Mario Cassineri, a sweet treat comprised of six pieces of bomboloni glazed with Nutella and filled with pastry cream, and served in a Nutella glazed pizza dough nest. 401 Seagaze Drive, Oceanside, blade1936.com.
Rancho Valencia: Celebrate your love of chocolate with the decadent Six-Layer Chocolate Cake topped with local berries and gold flakes. This Insta-worthy dessert is served with warm butterscotch sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Served at Veladora, 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, www.ranchovalencia.com.
Mille Fleurs: Melding her French education with the best of SoCal ingredients, Executive Pastry Chef Samantha Bird runs an in-house chocolate program with Chocolaterie de L’Opéra, a small family owned chocolatier, and local Chino Farm for seasonal produce. The chocolate tastings include Milk Chocolate Heart Bon Bon filled with concord grape compote and roasted peanut praline, White Chocolate Pumpkin filled with pumpkin ganache and pumpkin bread, Almond Dark Chocolate with roasted cocoa nib and Pistachio & Hazelnut Praline with milk chocolate. 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, millefleurs.com.
Candor: For layer upon layer of the perfect combination (that’s chocolate and peanut butter, folks) try the mouthwatering Peanut Butter Mousse Chocolate Cake, featuring blistered marshmallow, peanut crumble Crust, creme anglaise and toffee brittle. Don’t like peanut butter? Opt for the Dark Valrhona Chocolate Pot Au Creme, with vanilla whipped cream, cocoa, espresso “soil,” candied hazelnut and fleur de sel. 1030 Torrey Pines Road, Suite B, La Jolla, dinecandor.com.
Beer & Cannabis
Kaneh Co: Take your chocolate obsession higher with a cannabis-infused edible or two. The Chocolate Paleo Bites are vegan and gluten-free with no added sugar and contain 10 mg. of cannabis extract for cocoa enjoyment from head to foot. Details at kanehco.com.
Jalisco Cantina: Nibble on the Mexican Chocolate Sampler featuring chocolate chile caramels, pecan truffles
and chipotle hot chocolate. 213 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, thejaliscocantina.com.
Barrel Republic: There’s a chocolate tasting option here that includes a chocolate peanut butter crunch bar, stout truffle with almonds, chile dusted chocolate caramel, chocolate dipped cherry and white chocolate cranberry candy. 1261 Garnet Ave.; 2961 State St., Carlsbad; 215 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside, barrelrepublic.com.