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Jun 5, 2007 08:02 PM

Best GELATO? Recommendations please?!?

Okay Chowers, give me your best shot on the BEST gelato in the L.A. area!

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  1. Let the Gelato WARS commence !

    Scoops on Heliotrope & Melrose

    2 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      not gelato, but agree, excellent ice cream.

      1. i guess i should chime in, given my screenname. :)

        definitely the best gelato in southern california is gelato paradiso in newport beach, near fashion island. according to their website, there's a new location in hollywood, though i've never been. i think i've tried nearly every other gelato place in socal, and nothing comes close to gelato paradiso!

        9 Replies
        1. re: greengelato

          I've never heard of or tried this place, but it sounds good. The next time I'm in OC, I would like to check it out.

          1. re: greengelato

            There's also one in Manhattan Beach.

            1. re: greengelato

              Interesting. I've been there many a time and each time thought it was barely passable.

              1. re: choctastic

                it's not the same one. or at least, i'm pretty sure it isn't. their website doesn't mention it either:

                i have a feeling that the hollywood one doesn't stack up to their newport beach location. i read on yelp that they don't have many flavors, but the newport beach has a really good selection. their panna cotta is to die for.

                1. re: greengelato

                  The one I'm talking about is in that little plaza across the street from Sur La Table and Bristol Farms. I guess it's the Corona Del Mar one. Where is yours?

                  --actually now that I think about it, the one in the Fashion Island mall is better than the one I was thinking of.

              2. re: greengelato

                Man, Gelato Paradisio is outstanding. When I was in Italy last year, I didn't resist trying every Gelato place I ran into. And, Gelato Paradisio is as good as any one of those places in Italy. My favorite is the Panne Cotta.

                1. re: greengelato

                  I went to the Gelato Paradiso in Hollywood, and was truly impressed. Very surprised to find authentic, delicious gelato right in the middle of the tourist cesspool. And it's made in-house.

                  1. re: Papuli

                    I stumbled on the Hollywood location and thought it was great. I was also surprised to find such good gelato in the middle of tourist traps.

                  2. re: greengelato

                    I totally agree. Every flavor I've tried at their CDM Plaza has been heavenly, esp. bacio bianco, hazelnut, and tiramisu. They make it fresh everyday and you can taste the difference.

                    1. re: thebat

                      Was just there and 2 flovers where ICEY! What is up with that and there was a strange vibe to the place. The chocolate that just came out of the machine, Un F#$%in believable, it was heavenly, ying and yang all in one gelato case. Maybe the need some better refrigeration equipment.

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        When you mention the strange vibe, do you mean you get it from being in the store or the way the staff is? I sometimes get that strange vibe when the owner Leo is there, especially when you pronounce pistachio and he repeats it with his pronunciation. So that basically makes me feel weird.

                        1. re: thebat

                          Maybe he is referring to the infinished look/feel of the place??? When I went 2 weeks ago, they were still moving boxes in and out of the restaurant and the displays looked amateurish. They'll get there.

                            1. re: running pig

                              I agree with the look/feel of the place. The gelato did not look appetizing in the case. Most flavors looked half-melted. At first I thought we were in the wrong place.

                              At the Gelato Bar, which I think has good gelato, the presentation is really nice and they have a nice area to sit and eat. I don't always expect a nice ambiance when I choose a place to eat (noodle shops/taco stands etc.), but a good presentation shows me pride in the craftmanship.

                              1. re: bsquared2

                                I think the owners of Bulgarini might have gotten in over their heads. As much as they were praised while serving their gelato from a cart, my guess is they knew they had a good thing going and could anticipate having a strong demand for their gelato from a brick & mortor. They probably just didn't sense how strong the demand would be. Ever since Bulgarini opened, they've probably been chasing their tails trying to keep up with the "business" of making gelato at a much grander scale than what they had previously been used to. In other words, their business model has completely changed, and maybe they just weren't ready for different challanges that it presents.

                                Having a cart keeps your level of production and overhead down. Your ambiance is the surrounding grounds. You set your demand by what day and time you show up. When you decide to leave, you're closed up for the day. With a brick & mortor, you have a much more substantial overhead (rent, set-up costs, city bureaucracy, etc) you're always accessible (based on your business hours), and depending on the location and configuration of your shop, that could severely impact the customer flow as well.

                                Artisans and entrepeneurs are often great at developing fantastic products and concepts, but are also known to be relatively naive at taking their business to each successive higher level. They are usually very reluctant to seek outside help or delegate duties as they have always been used to doing everything their own way themselves. It's a span-of-control thing. I think if we just give these folks some time, they will work things out after they catch their breath, and Bulgarini will be at the top of their game again.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  They've already got us driving from the Valley and the Westside to ALTADENA, where rent must be relatively cheap. That was smart! Now they just need to clean it up a bit. Maybe pay a designer for a few days worth of work to make it spiffy :-)

                                  Anyone try the candies they have on the right side of the store?

                                  1. re: running pig

                                    Hey Swift Piglet, hope your run went well along the ocean... I'm sure all the neighboring businesses appreciate the new life that Bulgarini has brought to this neighborhood. It was a smart move for them to pick this area as most other areas in this neck of the woods in LA County are already benefitting from at least a certain amount of cache'. Now they need to hire you as a design consultant - suggest to them that you'll work for just the mere pittance of a daily allowance of their gelato for the next year...

                                    They now have candies? Do you recall what kind? =P

                        2. re: thebat

                          yes. and i believe burger boy maybe have had the sorbetto????? i want everything from bulgarini............thanks Thebat!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          1. re: caitybirdie

                            No! I had strawberry GELATO that was ICEY! Partially thawed and re-frozen! Does Sorbetto have MILK in it? NO!

                            1. re: caitybirdie

                              I do know the difference, sorry for the outburst.

                              1. re: Burger Boy

                                While we had a fantastic time and enjoyed the 4 flavors we tried immensely, others have complained about the strawberry. I guess thats the one flavor I will avoid.

                            2. re: thebat

                              Absolutely. Bulgarini opened the weekend we got home from a week in Tuscany, so we were able to compare it to *real* (and very good artiginale gelato) within 24 hours. The texture isn't quite there (it isn't as much like taffy as it is in Italy) but the fruit flavors are spot on.

                            3. Has anyone tried the new gelato place in Redondo Beach on PCH?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kealoha

                                Had the hazelnut gelato there. It was too sweet and the hazelnut aroma was a bit weak for me. The owner was very nice, but I'm sad to say, I don't plan on going back.

                                1. re: Me so hungry

                                  Gelatopia? Had what I thought was chocolate but it tatsd like hazelnut essence mad in a lab. Owner insisted it was chocolate and that it is made on premises. The strawberry was better-although a strenge flourescent version of strawberry pink.

                                  Has the new one in Manhattan Beach opened yet?

                                1. re: Bite Me

                                  I hear alot about Al Gelato,... that good, huh? Any rec's on flavors? And what is the cross street on Robertson?

                                  1. re: kealoha

                                    Al Gelato is terrific but it isn't really gelato, just very good ice cream. For what it is it's excellent, especially the cappucino and the green apple sorbet (and the rainbow sorbet, if you like that sort of thing).

                                    For those us on the westside who can't get to Bulgarini and Scoops on a regular basis, Mondo Gelato on Pico near Westwood has very nice, pure tasting gelato (as well as an "plain Italian yogurt" that's much much better than Pinkberry and clones). There are many, many prior threads on all of these.

                                    1. re: PayOrPlay

                                      I second Mondo Gelato. It's such a non-descript place but it's pretty darn good.