Shop the Block: For Valentine’s Day, Mignon chocolates are anything but boring

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As authentic as family-run businesses come, Mignon Chocolate was founded in 1910 and has been run by the Ter-Poghossians ever since.
For three generations, the family has manufactured its own fine chocolates, and original recipes are what make Mignon truly exceptional.
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Conduct your own taste test, starting with two selections from the M Collection: ginger sea salt chocolates (a dark-chocolate shell filled with luscious ginger dark chocolate ganache and topped with lime-infused sea salt) and lavender chocolates (also a ganache-infused dark-chocolate shell with the complex sweetness of woodsy lavender).
Mignon’s signature treat is its box of orange-peel strips, baked in heavy syrup and coated in dark chocolate. Another favorite is the saffron marzipan, which is created in-house with diced orange peels and infused with saffron. The family has been handmaking the latter since the 1930s.
In the Los Angeles area, Mignon also runs locations in Glendale and Van Nuys. An international outpost is located in Tehran.
6 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Open Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun. noon-5 p.m.; closed Mon. (626) 796-7100, mignonchocolate.com
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Photos: Get the scoop — or two — on area’s best frozen sweets

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From our summer dining issue, here’s a round-up by Emma Gallegos of the area’s best chilly treats — now with extra photographic goodness:
  • BULGARINI GELATO
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Leo Bulgarini ships the high-quality ingredients for his gelatos all the way from Italy if he has to, but it’s all made on site in Altadena and offered up with these irresistible words: “Try this, I just made it this morning.” Some of the flavors are straight-up delicious — fruit sorbets and granita flavored with the real melon, citrus and pineapples, a hazelnut gelato that’s more nutty than nutella. Some of the flavors are strangely delicious, like the goat cheese with chocolate nibs: creamy, slightly sweet and then there are these little flecks of hardened goat cheese and bitter chocolate. How about yogurt with celtic salt or olive oil? It’s just pazzo enough to work. 749 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, (626) 791-6174, bulgarinigelato.com

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Photos: At Pasadena’s POP Champagne Bar, dessert is the most important meal of the day

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A traditional Spanish dessert — these days, corrupted by an explosion in popularity and en masse distribution at theme parks and even fast-food joints — the churros at POP Champagne and Dessert Bar are on the high end of the doughy spectrum.
Chef Ray Vasquez rolls his fresh churros in sugar and serves them up with a trio of sauces: warm chocolate, dulce de leche and cinnamon.
POP Champagne and Dessert Bar, 33 E. Union St., (626) 795-1295, popchampagnebar.com
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Weekend guide: Sew contemporary, spring festivals blossoming and a sweet pairing menu


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>>GO 

SATURDAY, April 10, & SUNDAY, April 11


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    “Stitches”

A group exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts opening Saturday will have you bobbin and weaving. Curated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, “Stitches” highlights 12 culturally diverse artists who approach craft, textile and fiber art in an unconventional manner. In a versatile — and sometimes obsessive — art form, the works use materials ranging from yarn and thread, to found objects and recycled clothing. Contemporary artworks approach the homespun techniques of sewing, knitting and weaving, including two-dimensional and freestanding sculptural works, along with large-scale installations.

Opening reception Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Suggested donation, $5. Runs through June 6. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Caldwell Gallery at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. 626-792-5101, armoryarts.org

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