Hot Chocolate

Posted on 2 min read

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, I went into a store called the Chocolate Haus. I’d driven past it a million times and never even noticed it.

   A couple of days later, I tasted the still unopened chocolate covered toffee. I was blown away. The Chocolate Haus has some of the best chocolate I’ve tasted.

Located on Turquoise Street in Pacific Beach, the owner, Pete Close, is a San Diego native whose grandfather worked for Hershey for twenty years.  Pete grew up with his grandparents. There was always chocolate around the house, lots of Hershey chocolate bars. 

The fact that most people love chocolate is not a surprise.  The Aztecs associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility. Emperor Montezuma served hot chocolate in golden goblets.  Queen Isabella was turned onto the stuff by Columbus, who brought the wonderful brown Cocoa beans back from America.

 I am a chocoholic. I cannot end my day without it.  It’s sexy and tasty; it gives me a sense of warmth and happiness when I bite into the hard outer shell and taste the creamy, sweet inside.  When I’m about to get my period, watch out, don’t try to get between me and anything chocolate.

Pete began making chocolate as a hobby. He couldn’t afford Christmas gifts for the staff at Georges at the Cove, where he has worked for the last 10 years as a waiter.  The chef has given Pete a couple of tastings,  but so far, the restaurant hasn’t begun using the chocolate.   

Chocolate Haus’ signature are the Truffles.  By the way, Truffles were named after their dirt-grown counterparts.  I tasted Nirvana, a traditional truffle made with a chocolate ganache center and a light dusting of powdered chocolate; it was truly orgasmic. Pete’s creative Chocolate Chipotle Bark,  was an explosion of delight on the tongue—sweet at first with a spicy afterbite.  

I asked Pete whether he thinks chocolate is an aphrodisiac. “Absolutely,” he said.  It always works for me.”  “Everyone knows that chocolate makes people feel good.”  Close says it’s also good for you, especially dark chocolate,  which is filled with antioxidants that keep your LDL—the bad cholesterol—down.  Pete keeps his recipes fresh by making seasonal chocolates.  When strawberries are in season, he uses them to fill his truffles.  At Christmas he makes chocolate-peppermint bark. For Valentine’s Day, the busiest season for candy makers,  he’s been known to make as many as 1,000 turtles, working until five in the morning.

His prices rival See’s.  Because Pete does not make his chocolate in huge quantities, it’s always fresh. 

If you need  your chocolate fix, or you’re just buying it as a gift for someone else, Chocolate Haus is the place to go and Pete, is the guy to see.


  • Valerie Juboori
    March 10, 2009

    I LOVE chocolate and will definately be checking this place out!