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All chocolates are not created equal--and these are the best around. May we suggest searing these names into your frontal lobe for when you’re in need of a little pick-me-up or sure-to-please gift?

/images/articles/Valerie Confections

Valerie Confections

Artisan dark chocolates with a dusting of sea salt, oh my. (9 pieces, $20)

3360 W. First St.; 213-739-8149 or

/images/articles/Compartes Chocolatier

Compartes Chocolatier

Are we more excited about the 30-plus chocolate bars (from $10) in flavors like trail mix and caramelized popcorn or the groovy collage-artwork packaging? Okay, the chocolate wins.

Compartes Chocolatier, 912 S. Barrington Ave.; 310-826-3380 or



Here, beans are stone ground in the methods of the ancient Aztecs. Serve the Simply Chocolate Powder ($16) in the traditional Mexican style, with a side of cinnamon, cayenne pepper and salt.

12469 W. Washington Blvd.; 310-845-6259 or

/images/articles/Edelweiss Chocolates

Edelweiss Chocolates

Remember the classic candy I Love Lucy scene? That’s based on this Beverly Hills shop, where the old-fashioned styling and rich products--like the signature peppermint bark (12 oz., $30)--are like a happy trip to Switzerland.

444 N. Canon Dr., Beverly HIlls; 310-275-0341 or

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See's Candies

Classic chocolate lovers (and the indecisive) will enjoy a Winter Splendor gift box (33 pieces, $31) from this Cali institution.

189 The Grove Dr.; 323-932-1653 or

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