It’s OSCARS week! And here in Hollywood that means parties, fancy duds, tourists, and road closures. Not to mention traffic. Lots and lots of traffic.
To save you the less glamorous aspects of this high-toned and fancy to-do, I took a little trip down to Hollywood yesterday to scope out the chocolate situation. With me serving as your eyes and ears, you miss all the bad stuff and get only the good stuff.
Incidentally, I also serve as your taste buds.
On your behalf, I wandered into John Kelly Chocolates, nestled discreetly in the quietly gorgeous neighborhoods between Sunset and Hollywood Blvd (where of course a film crew was hard at work). Making small batches of kosher, gluten-free, all natural chocolates, John Kelly combines Callebaut chocolate and fudge in a variety of flavors – topped with gourmet sea salt.
I drove the streets of the world’s film capital with the windows down and 88.1 on the radio belting classic jazz. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and my dashboard thermometer read 68 degrees.
Feeling classy in Southern California.
With a case full of tempting treats, shelves lined with pre-packed boxes, and a window into the chocolate-dipping kitchen, John Kelly’s is a sophisticated reboot of the neighborhood candy shop that envelops you from the moment you walk inside.
The bell rings as you step through the door and then a plate of conveniently sliced fudge truffles present themselves for your approval. Three Sofi awards line the shelf behind the counter – the brightest and goldest of which is for a Dark Chocolate truffle fudge topped with French Grey Sea Salt.
So of course I had to get one of those. I was also intrigued by the new addition to the JKC family: topped in smoked salt. I like smoked things. They’re so mysterious.
After much deliberation, I bought four pieces to bring home (after availing myself of the samples, of course) and will do my best to describe them for you:
1. Dark Chocolate Vanilla fudge
2. Dark Chocolate Caramel with Smoked Sea Salt
3. The Sofi award-winning Dark Chocolate with French Grey Sea Salt
4. Walnut Caramel Cluster with Mediterranean Sea Salt
Dark Chocolate Vanilla: a sweet fudge ganache square covered in dark chocolate that gives a satisfying snap when you bite it. The combination of soft, rich fudge and sharp, smooth chocolate is at first a little difficult to take in. Thankfully you have about eight bites’ worth to get used to it.
Dark Chocolate with Smoked Sea Salt: a chewy caramel center covered in dark chocolate – with a dusting of salt that kind of got swallowed up in the sweetness of the caramel. Ordinarily I’m not much of a caramel person, and I wanted more salt. But you wouldn’t have to hold me down in order to enjoy this winning combination.
Dark Chocolate with French Grey Sea Salt: the rich chocolatey ganache is generously robed in dark chocolate (there was about a quarter inch of it on top) with just enough salt. This combination made my sinuses open up.
Drumroll for my FAVORITE…
Who knew that a Walnut Caramel Cluster with Mediterranean Sea Salt could be so satisfying? It’s a real mouthful, probably five bites’ worth, with big chunks of salt adorning the chocolate shell wrapped around fresh walnuts and soft caramel.
I adore walnuts, and was pleasantly surprised by how distinct each ingredient could be. It’s like a little chocolate package that you unwrap with your teeth.
So whether you’re coming down to Hollywood for Oscar parties, visiting later this year to compare handprints with George Clooney, or ordering online for your own private enjoyment at home, get a taste of John Kelly!
And as always, let us know what you think.