The Monster is lucky enough to get invited to some wonderful food events. When word came that a new chocolate shop was opening on Montana and The Monster was invited to a preview tasting it took nanoseconds to respond in the affirmative.
Named after the two owners, the chocolate tasting at John Kelly Chocolates new store open in Santa Monica begins with champagne as the food cognoscenti (others, not The Monster of course) mingle.
Kelly & John, our gracious hosts.
The line-up for our tasting.
After word from the two owners greeting us and relaying how the confectioners came into the business seven years ago it’s time to dive in.
1) Dark chocolate with French Grey Sea Salt – Smooth and creamy, delicious, it’s a nice play between the rich dark chocolate fudge and the bite of the sea salt. First impressions, awesome.
2) Chocolate and Caramel with Hawaiian Alaea Sea Salt – Where the first taste was lovely this is extraordinary. Rich and luscious, sweet and savory.
3) Walnut Caramel Cluster with Mediterranean Sea Salt – How many ways can one laud these morsels of manna? Another tasty bite, this one notable for the addition of walnuts and the coarse salt.
4) White Chocolate Vanilla with Walnuts – Filled with cocoa butter, this isn’t the cloying sweet white chocolate one normally associates with the chocolate pretender, instead a wonderful, balanced treat.
5) Chocolate Raspberry – The Monster isn’t normally a fan of mixing fruit and chocolate so he goes into this a skeptic and while many love this The Monster remains a purist.
6) Peanut Butter with Himalayan Pink Salt – Love. While very rich, this makes a Reese’s Cup taste like raw sewage from an Indian slum. The Monster takes two.
7) Dark Chocolate with Chipotle and Ancho Chile – The fascinating aspect of this taste is the residual heat from the chiles that leaves the lingering flavor profile long after you’ve finished.
8) Dark Chocolate with Habanero and Jalapeno Chile – The finale is the spicier of the two chile chocolates. It’s chocolaty goodness followed by spicy heat. Another winner.
Many thanks to all the great people at John Kelly Chocolates! If you’re a chocoholic be sure to stop by the store and pick up a box (we all know that means boxes). Using only the finest ingredients and producing their chocolate from a passion for greatness, you are sure to fall in love with this store and their confections.
Up next for The Monster, a tour of the John Kelly Chocolate factory. For a person whose favorite movie is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (the original, natch) this will prove to be a rare treat.
1111-1/2 Montana Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90403