Choco le'a: the best chocolate truffles in Honolulu

Are these the best chocolate truffles in town? No doubt.

Choco le'a started in 2010, and going on little more than word of month and consistent, high-quality creations, the company has quietly taken over the confection scene in Hawaii, presenting their truffles alongside Alan Wong at a Japanese Cultural Center event and supplying hotels like the Moana Surfrider with their treats. 

Erin Kanno Uehara and Colins Kawai, making chocolate haupia truffles

Choco le'a is owned by Colins Kawai and Erin Kanno Uehara, a self-taught, uncle and niece team. Together, the two turn out a remarkable assortment of truffles in offerings like mochi (with Nisshodo's chichi dango in the center), caramel accented with Hawaiian sea salt, cheesecake (from Otto Cake), and silky lilikoi truffles.

Flavors are clean and potent … easily some of the best I've tasted. Using a blend of local and European chocolates, the truffles are handmade in Choco le'a's new Manoa factory space. A large portion of their business are catering orders (weddings and birthdays), custom orders for hotels, and company events (they just filled a large order for Larry Ellison and Oracle).

Now the important part: how to get these chocolate truffles? Three options:

  1. Visit LMS Boutique in Manoa. This is the only place where Choco le'a is available for retail sale. Here you'll find a limited, rotating collection of truffles (think butterscotch liqueur, triple chocolate, and lychee liqueur) and their popular hand-dipped Oreos and nut clusters.
  2. Custom order—go this route if you want flavors like fresh haupia (paired with dark chocolate ganache) and the mochi truffles. These flavors are more perishable, so they're only made to order.
  3. Join Club Choco le'a. A $30 monthly membership rewards with a box of 20 truffles at the start of each month. You'll save $10 from the retail price of $2/truffle, and the best way to satisfy chocolate cravings at a steady rate.