A chocolate chip cookie, when made with quality chocolate and no small amount of deftness with proportion, almost always beats belabored efforts to upgrade it. This is not to say that the various attempts at major overhaul of the classic are without reason -- for a baker, a chocolate chip cookie is a starter recipe upon which he or she builds a repertoire. A seasoned baker knows, though, that what makes a basic, truly good cookie is more dissertation than pop quiz, an invitation to study nuance. The better examples of chocolate chip cookies we found around town undoubtedly came from a fair level of dedication to experimenting with shifts in ratio. Turn the page for our favorites.
In a second-floor walk-up off of Highland near Melrose, DeLuscious Milk + Cookies appears more corporate wholesale distribution center than bakery. You can nevertheless purchase one of the individually packaged cookies, or several, without having to meet any minimum order requirement. Quite a few cookies, including the chocolate chip, are as big as a saucer. 829 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 460-2370.
A chocolate chip cookie at Ramekin, Jason Park and Paul Yoo's dessert shop located a few blocks south of Griffith Park, will require 10 minutes of your time and compensate your patience well upon its arrival -- all warm on a small metal platter. Baked to order, the cookies have one of the more appealing textures, with a pliable center that gives way to an easy crunch. It's a cookie that demands accompaniment, either by cold milk or by strong coffee -- both of which are available on the menu. For the intrepid, this might call for ice cream, which Ramekin conveniently also has. 1726 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 667-9627.