6. Demitasse: Bobak Roshan is a bit of a maverick, and his Lavender Liquid Hot Chocolate ($5) comes with two drops of floral lavender extract and a “giant flame kissed marshmallow” which requires the attention of a kitchen torch. The sweet, dark brown magma involves molten Guittard chocolate blended with vanilla bean and sugar to taste. During my visit, Roshan was getting ready to roll out a lemongrass version.
7. Guelaguetza: At the Lopez family’s colorful ode to Oaxaca, they offer Oaxacan Hot Chocolate ($4.50) with Oaxacan cocoa powder de primera calidad (of the finest quality) blended with crushed almonds and cinnamon and a choice of milk or water, depending on how diluted or rich you want the cocoa.
8. Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea: At their Sunset Junction location, talented Intelli baristas prepare rich Hot Chocolate ($4) with ganache of 60% Tcho dark chocolate, heavy cream, and a waterfall of decorative steamed milk.
9. Jin Patisserie [CLOSED]
Kristy Choo’s bamboo-lined patio cafe has been a mainstay along Abbot Kinney since 2004, but she closes the curtain on its first incarnation on March 24, 2013. Since a chocolatier’s in charge, of course Jin has Hot Chocolate ($5.50). Her approach is simple but effective, combining 72% bittersweet chocolate with steamed milk. She serves plentiful hot chocolate in a pitcher with two unfilled floral Earl Grey macaron cookies. [CLOSED]
10. Taza [CLOSED: Visit Cafe 1886 by Taza at Rusnak Arcadia]
This “social coffee house” from former entertainment industry executive Sonny Mediana offers Cocoa Chaud ($3.75) as a decaffeinated alternative. A Belgian chocolate bar – either dark, milk or hazelnut – joins steamed milk, yielding frothy results.