Valentine Yum

Feb 5, 2017
Photo: Marco Paolo Chocolates

Photo: Marco Paolo Chocolates


For those with a sweet tooth and people they love, here’s some ideas for celebrating the day of love.

Pasadena’s Marco Paolo Chocolates are handmade artisan truffles—stunningly beautiful and darn delicious.

Order online by February 8 in order to receive by Valentine’s Day on February 14. Include a personal note free of charge.






Photo of and by C'est La Vie

Photo of and by C’est La Vie


Christine Moore of Little Flower and Lincoln Pasadena has teamed with Pamela Perkins to open C’est La Vie—”a neighborhood eatery with French flair”—in the Montrose area of Glendale.

Valentine’s Day dinner is being offered for $65 per person, which includes one glass of wine. The menu includes a country paté and lobster and California citrus salad. For entrées, guests may choose between grilled flat iron, wild mushroom pasta, chicken cassoulet, or pan roasted branzino (clams, house garlic sausage, crispy lentils and capers, and mustard greens). The fourth course serves two and include goat brie, Morbier, crostini, and raspberry compote, while dessert is a trio of seasonal fruit mille feuille, opera blanc, and gluten free chocolate cake. Find full menu here.

C’est La Vie, 3459 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale 91208. House: Monday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m.; and Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tel: 1.747.255.7046. Also, find C’est La Vie on Facebook.


C'est La Vie opera blanc; photo, C'est La Vie

C’est La Vie opera blanc; photo, C’est La Vie




Chocolate-dipped blackberries; photo by Mignon Chocolates

Chocolate-dipped blackberries; photo by Mignon Chocolates


Another marvelous chocolatier is, of course, Mignon Chocolates in Old Pasadena on Holly and now located on Verdugo Road in Glendale, too. For a mere $9, one may purchase Mignon’s “Love Bag” with approximately 25 red foil-wrapped hearts. A 9-, 12-, and 24-piece box ranges from $12 to $48. The Grand Heart is one pound of a variety of Mignon’s classic collection, truffles, and its “M” collection. It it’s more fun to build you own box, then Mignon offers for $55 the 30-piece Build Your Own Heart.

Truffle flavors include tiramisu, champagne, Irish cream, and raspberry. The “M” collection are dark chocolate ganaches and “hand-shelled with well refined 60% Single-Origin Venezuelan dark chocolates. Flavors include ginger with lime sea salt, lavender, Cuban mojito, and chili pepper. Mignon offers 85% and 70% dark chocolates, milk chocolate, white chocolate and sugar free 56% dark chocolate. “All time favorites” include chocolate liquor cups, Mikado cookies, hazelnut truffles, and orange peel strips.

Or, for something completely different, how about champagne lips (photo, top right) or a chocolate shoe to give your Valentine?

Mignon Chocolate, 6 Holly Street, Pasadena 91103. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Tel: 1.626.796.7100.

Mignon Chocolate, 315 N. Verdugo Rd., Glendale. Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tel: 1.818.549.9600.






Not only a Valentine’s Day dinner, but also cocktails, music, and dancing will be held at the University Club Pasadena. Fresh dumb crab salad, brandy figs and goat cheese, a chef’s surprise amuse-bouche, roasted winter baby beets and root vegetables, along with an entrée of baked lobster tail and grilled hanger steak medallions, followed by a “sweetheart” dessert station. And, “ladies will receive a special gift.”

Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m. and dinner is at 7:30 p.m.

Price: members, $65, non-members, $75. Call 1.626.793.5157 for reservations.

University Club Pasadena, 175 N. Oakland Ave., Pasadena 91101.





Photo credit: Real Food Devotee


Back in July, 2013, we were invited into the home of Monica Ford, founder of Real Food Devotee. We spent several hours asking questions, taking notes, and taste testing one delicious item after another, from Shoo Flu sauerkraut and purple garlic kraut to some of the best granola and homemade vanilla yogurt we’ve had in our entire life. For Valentine’s Day, Real Food Devotee is offering gluten free sweet hearts: two chocolate covered heart-shaped cakes with “coconut for anti-viral and metabolism boosting qualities” and “butter for vitamin K2.” Who knew Valentine treats could be good for us?

RFD also offers Happy Tummy Gummies, lemon coconut candy, six different flavors of sorbet, a probiotic strawberry shortcake, faux ding dongs, and vanilla crèmes.

GF Sweet Hearts, 2 per box, $16.99.

Order at

To peruse the full menu, visit


Photo credit: Real Food Devotee

Photo credit: Real Food Devotee






One of the local chocolatiers we’ve loved since its doors have opened is Amara  on South Raymond Avenue in Old Pasadena in 2012. It even made the list of L. A.’s 8 Best Boutique Chocolate Shops at Amara Barroeta has been using 100% Venezuelan cacao to create her wide assortment of handmade chocolates, creating hot chocoholics with her velvety Venezuelan and Mexican hot chocolates, and may one friend in particular a repeat customer with her delicious arepas. Whether you choose to visit Amara for a box of Valentine chocolates or take your loved one for a cozy and casual Valentine meal, Amara doesn’t disappoint.

Read our review from when Amara opened: “Chocolate de Venezuela.”

Amara Chocolate & Coffee, 55 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91105. Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tel: 626.744.1765.








We have not patronized this shop, but here’s another location for Valentine’s Day chocolates:

Pirellis Chocolatier, 1559 The Midway Street, Glendale 91208. Hours: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tel: 1.818.244.8288. Chocolates with pistachios and dried apricots, Jordan almonds, baklava chocolate wafers, macarons, assorted Belgian chocolate, and we’re kind of digging the chocolate pyramid with silver or gold crown (we know our former HP teenage contributor who’s now a college freshman would love these in a Valentine Day care package).

Or how about a knock-his/her-socks off mosaic wooden box with assorted baklava? It will cost you $120, but wow, what a presentation…



Photo source: Mirelli Chocolatier


Photo source: Mirelli Chocolatier

Photo source: Mirelli Chocolatier


By Brigitte Thom,

By Brigitte Thom,





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