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Bulgarini Gelato - The Best

i've been on this ridiculous gelato craze partially due to this board. through it i read a jonathan gold article about BULGARINI GELATO in pasadena in the courtyard of the pacific asia museum.

they studied with some of the best guys who still make from scratch in italy and he's italian and her italian is beautiful.

okay, it's very, very good gelato, made in the old style, no PreGel (http://www.pregel.it/eng/home.asp).

bacio - they get their hazlenuts from oregon, it has a complexity and texture that's unreal

pistacchio - pistachios from northern italy, not too sweet, she makes a paste from the pistachios and it's so intense

mango - the texture almost brought me to tears, i had to buy the $13.50 container to take home. the flavor is like biting into a mango without getting all the threads stuck between your teeth

open fri, sat, sunday only 11am-6pm.

the courtyard is an incredible place to sit and relax.

if you like real gelato, run, don't walk.

how far away is friday?

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  1. I absolultely agree revets2. bulgarini's gelato is out of control delicious!
    yes, all of the flavors you mentioned are great.
    next time try the cantaloupe - before the season is over.
    perfectly fragrant, creamy and dreamy.

    last night went to Gelato Bar in studio city and was not impressed.

    1. i'm trying gelato bar tonight and i trust your opinion, ostudio, but george is so enthusiastic, i feel i should try.

      do you think they're making it from scratch or from paste?

      i really like leo's cantaloupe. the last time i had it, he put a little gin in it. the mango is my hands down fave, though.

      will report back on gelato bar.

      1. Hey I haven't tried Bulgarini yet, so don't hold me up as a comparison point between the two!

        But this post, as opposed to JG's article, makes me want to try.......

        1. george, if were talking great gelato by roman standards, think san crispino-good, not giolitti-good.

          2 Replies
          1. re: revets2

            I like both, but they are different. I was thinking from what I've been reading that Bulgarini sounded like San Crispino.

            1. re: George

              giolitti is mostly from flavor tins or paste. you know, open can, pour in machine.

              san crispino and bulgarini's bases are all freshly made which means the texture is different depending upon whether you get the mango sorbetto or the bacio.

          2. today is friday and I'm thinking of a reason to drive to pasadena for work to justify an afternoon gelato...I heard leo pulls a mean espresso too.

            1. so does his wife, elizabeth, but only at the museum location.

              1. May I please ask: available any place else and other times than the Fri-Sunday?

                1. Do you have to purchase admission to the museum to just get the gelato?

                  1. You don't need to pay admission at either the museum or the laemmle. And they are only there between fri-sat.


                    1. just make sure to bring cash, i don't think they take credit cards, and for some reason they sometimes don't have the sign parked outside los robles, but they still may be there. and it's best to get there earlier, it's possible they may leave before the late afternoon.

                      1. hey kevin,

                        have you gone back to try their mango? also, their pistacchio with strawberry or raspberry combo is really good as well.

                        1. so what are their hours at the pasadena laemlle? full theatre hours?
                          last night after dinner (mei long village) I wanted a bulgarini fix.
                          Because it was a saturday night at the movies, the place was crowded, but the time was around 9:00 (between showings). My friend drops me off while they circle around the block so I can run in and get some gelato, The cart was there, but no sign of Leo. I ask the theatre manager, and he said that he didn't know where he was, but that Leo was there earlier. I wait 10 minutes. No sign of anyone. The people behind the concessions stand had no idea where he was and could not serve the gelato because that's their agreement. Fine, I wait another 15 minutes. My friend calls on my cell phone and is getting impatient. I went home with no gelato.

                          1. I think they shut down before it gets dark.

                            Hours are something like 11AM-5PM Fri., Sat., Sun.

                            Call before you go to confirm their location and hours on the day. They operate a mobile cart and unfortunately for all of us they aren't afraid to move it and shut it down.


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: unwashed_sidamo

                              hours are posted on their website, however, the above hours are for the museum only.

                              they are also at the laemmle next to vromans on the weekends.

                            2. There was talk of them opening in the museum on Wednesday but I don't know if this actually happened yet.

                              1. i asked about wednesday after reading the rumor on this board. they looked at me like i was crazy.

                                that's very strange about the laemmle that he/she left an unmanned cart. sometimes he's had to run upstairs to grab more gelato (the freezer is upstairs). i would have been really frustrated. fyi, the second phone # on the website is their cell so they will answer and come back if you need.

                                as i said on another posting...it's very italian.

                                the are looking for retail spaces. until then, logistics are a challenge.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: revets2

                                  indeed I was frustrated that evening I went home empty-handed, however not enough to deter me from going back the next day (spoken like a true junkie).
                                  Leo said he was gone for about 30 minutes for dinner but that the concessions stand people should have scooped me (although they said that they wouldn't) I eagerly await when they set up permanent shop.
                                  BTW new pineapple flavor was terrific.

                                  1. re: ostudio

                                    yes, we thought the pineapple was mindblowing. went home with a container and although it doesn't keep it's original consistency after being in our freezer (but really, we're too impatient) it's still really excellent.

                                2. wait a sec, has bulgarini now set up shopin front of the Laemmel'es pasadean theater.

                                  1. Bulgarini has a cart at both Pacific Asia Musuem (46 N. Robles Ave)& Laemmle's Playhouse (673 E Colorado) in Pasadena.
                                    The hours as posted on their website and confirmed by 1 of owners:

                                    Museum (except if they're having a special event at museum):
                                    Fridays: Noon - 7 PM
                                    Sat & Sun: Noon- 5 PM

                                    Laemmle's (in lobby- No ticket purchase required):
                                    Fridays: Evening shows
                                    Sat & Sun: Afternoon & Evening shows

                                    & BTW- This is great Gelato !!! Amazing all natural fruit flavors & rich deep dark delicious chocolates. And they love to give samples.

                                    1. I'm curious why gelato is at least twice as expensive as ice cream. It's not expensive in Italy. I've been amazed at some of the prices I've seeen around--the other day in Laguna Beach I saw $8 per small scoop!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: bohemiana

                                        $8/small scoop!?!?!?!! Are you kidding? Are you exaggerating? Are you failing to tell us it came in a solid gold cup/cone? Ohhhh- Laguna Beach, never mind.
                                        Seriously, Please warn your fellow 'hounds. What is the name & location of this Rip-Off? For 8 bucks you could buy 2 pints of super premium ice cream on sale at the grocer's and have $ left over for a few good cookies.

                                      2. Just had Bulgarini @ the Laemmle (following your rec from other post) - the chocolate-hazelnut is really yummy, although a bit too drippy for my tastes (I also sampled the pistachio---intriguing, but not OMG good I gotta buy.)

                                        1. Good lord, I just realized I sort of know this guy. I used to work at Tre Venezie where he used to be a sommelier/head waiter. He was very good. It was a very intense kitchen with him and a northern Italian chef and owners.

                                          Going to Pasadena my next day off...

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: fooddude37

                                            yes, he really knows his wines, as well.

                                          2. I don't know the name of the place in Laguna Beach but it was in a small courtyard of shops on PCH just up the street from the White House. There's also an expensive chocolate shop and a cigar store in the same courtyard. Truly, that was the most expensive I've seen but generally most of the shops are around $3-4 for a teeny tiny scoop--it always seems like a rip off to me.

                                            1. tried scoops this weekend and I was impressed.
                                              I had brown bread (smooth w/ tasty cunchy texture bits) and blackberry/lemon (extremely "pretty" flavor). the squash was unbelievably good, and the pistachio kulfi was excellent-delicious cardoman finish.
                                              It's different from bulgarini , texture and style and the flavors are more upfront, but not too sweet. I prefer bulgarini, but scoops has a storefront and regular hours, so it's very convenient.
                                              and the prices are alittle unbelievable ...I really think he should charge more.
                                              Tai is very friendly and obviously loves what he is doing.

                                              1. i, too, really like scoops. it's ice cream, not gelato, so i don't like to compare as it's almost like comparing a barlett to an asian pear. they're both yummy, but so different.

                                                his prices are unbelievable!

                                                1. ok, update, i went tonight. he said soon he will be in all of the Laemmle's!!!!!!!! and he's trying to find a place in hollywood, or pasadena in the playhouse district!!!!! if you know of any good spaces!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  1. i am completely obsessed with their delicious gelato. pistachio all the way! although i love their peach gelato. you must also try their gelato with marsala wine...MMMM. i've been 3 times this week!