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Inside Universal Studios Hollywood's Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen
Get ready for some yummy fun!
With the opening of Super Nintendo World in Universal Studios Hollywood this year, visitors to the Los Angeles location may have also noticed another brand-new attraction at Universal CityWalk: The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen. Both a themed restaurant and a dessert mecca, this Toothsome restaurant is only the third to open in the world following Universal Parks & Resorts locations in Orlando, Florida and Beijing, China.
Replacing the former Hard Rock location at Universal CityWalk, The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen is a dining experience with a deep original mythology behind it. The two-story is themed as Victorian steampunk, featuring industrial style fittings and metal accents throughout the huge dining space.
Go Inside The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen at Universal Studios Hollywood
Meet Penelope and Jacques
The official lore of the restaurant is that the space was created by steampunk ambassador and chocolate connoisseur, Penelope, and her robot creation and companion, Jacques. The duo traveled the world seeking adventure and chocolate recipes from around the globe. Until, her story took a bit of a sad turn.
Upon arriving home to London after an extended trip, Penelope found her parents gone and a note left behind: “We have set out to join you in your adventures. Surely the world isn’t so big that we can’t find you. We shall look for you wherever chocolate can be found.”
Hoping to create a chocolate emporium to serve as a delicious beacon to her parents, Penelope and Jacques created The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen.
Behind the Design
With summer here and many visitors curious about where exactly the Toothsome concept came from and what to do there, SYFY WIRE reached out to one of its concept creators, Su-Fei Sakamoto, the Sr. Director of Design and Planning at Universal Creative, for some exclusive insight to the must-eat destination, which looks to capitalize on humanity's global love for sweet treats while on vacation.
Sakamoto told SYFY WIRE that the original concept for the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen came from "a desire to develop a venue centered around chocolate that will elevate everyone's favorite confection to the next level. [The restaurants] combine in-depth storytelling with high quality dishes and service."
One of the most surprising things visitors will see once entering the establishment is that the steampunk theme is woven into all aspects of the building, from the motion walls telling Penelope and Jacques' story, to the Candy Smith gift shop that features more than 30 flavors of daily made confections and macarons. There's also a huge array of bespoke steampunk cosplay items from monocles to felt hats, and high end, unique steam punk maquettes you can purchase.
"The steampunk maquettes were curated to fit with the story and vibe of the space,"Sakamoto explained. And he confirmed that the daily confections featured in the glass cases of the confectionary are unique to this location, with some flavors only available at Universal Studios Hollywood.
Asked about leaning into this particularly inventive style of theming, Sakamoto said, "Research led to a discovery of the Steampunk era which stood out with its rebellious spirit of creation and industrial influences. The structural shapes and rich palette from the Victorian Steampunk genre evokes exactly the type of experience we wanted to create for our guests. It is the perfect combination of fantasy, nostalgia, and adventure."
And in keeping with those themes, Sakamoto said they created Penelope to reflect the overall aesthetic and its world view. "She embodies the spirit of the ingenious women from the industrial age who have imagined and developed inventions that have changed the world."
How to Dine or Visit
Visitors do not need to have tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood to dine, shop or just browse The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen. But once inside, there is the option to eat in the sit-down, full-service restaurant, or order milkshakes or dessert from the Dessert Foundry for take-away.
Regardless, there's plenty for your eyes to feast on, right from the impressive entry way atrium. Sakamoto details, "As guests enter the chocolate emporium, the dome ceiling reveals a skyline filled with fantastical flying dirigibles against a dramatic assembly of clouds that subtlety depicts dawn through dusk in a hour-long cycle. The animated scenes behind the factory window is where the real action of chocolate making takes place. And Penelope and Jacques appear to engage with guests throughout the dining room with their banter and antics."
For the foodies out there, know that Executive Chef Carlos Garcia has crafted all of the meals and desserts on the menu. Everything is prepared fresh on the premises and there is a full savory menu including crisp salads and hearty soups, and tasty burgers, flatbreads, and steaks.
There is also a brunch menu including Nutella & banana crepes, apple pie crepes, beef and mushroom crepes, berries and cream waffles, Bananas Foster waffles, chocolate brioche s’mores French Toast, and several quiches.
And for those just wanting the sweet stuff, Toothsome Chocolate Emporium's dessert menu includes an array of Jacques' Specialty Milkshakes, Sundaes, and other desserts. Reservations can be made at the Universal Studios Hollywood website.
While you're at Universal Studios Hollywood, don't forget to check out the new Super Nintendo World!