For more than a century, this Little Tokyo shop has been making soft, powdery mochi sweets from glutinous rice with untraditional fillings like peanut butter, strawberry, and green tea. » 315 E. 1st St., Little Tokyo, 213-625-8595.
Pastry chef Kristy Choo draws from her childhood in Singapore and frequent trips to Japan when crafting her dramatically sculpted passionfruit petits fours, sea salt caramels, and Grand Marnier truffles. » 1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-399-8801.
Little Flower Candy Company
Christine Moore started concocting her buttery, sticky caramels on the stove at home. They were too good not to share, which is why bags of her sea salt- and vanilla-flavored candies (as well as her mongo sugar-dusted marshmallows) now sell nationwide. » 1424 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-304-4800.
Jonathan Grahm took over the family business when he was 15. Now 24, he whips up jewel-like organic truffles in flavors such as cardamom and caramelized plantain at his Brentwood store, donating part of the proceeds to Relief International in Darfur. » 912 S. Barrington Ave., Brentwood, 310-826-3380.
Inside her tiny storefront, Valerie Gordon and crew can be seen coating dainty squares of fleur de sel toffee, salt-and-pepper ganache, and peanut toffee in milk or bittersweet dark chocolate. Even darker? The “Mori ex Cacao” chocolate skulls are packed in black silk. » 3360 W. 1st St., L.A., 213-739-8149.
Photographs by Mindee Choi