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Feb 22, 2009 05:04 PM

Nice Cream on Abbot Kinney

I stopped into Nice Cream on Abbot Kinney in Venice today. I thought I’d give you hounds a heads up on it. If you like a LIGHT and I mean extremely light tasting gelato you'd adore this place. I think it doesn't come close to Pazzo Gelato in silver lake texture wise its just too thin to me. I tried 5 of their flavors, Vanilla, Sour Cherry, Amaretto, Pistachio, Biaca "not sure I spelled it right' it's like nutella. The Biaco was pretty good but didn't have the nutty-ness of other nutella gelato's I’ve had in san fran, the amaretto was not very good I tasted something chemical in it, the vanilla was bland but passable, the Sour cherry was horrible one of the worst gelato's I’ve had it reminded me of sweetened cough syrup, the pistachio though was very good. It wasn't the best pistachio I’ve had but it was definitely worth trying. My friend was vegan and she tried the lemon and the orange sorbetto, she said the orange was excellent. Keep in mind though if you check this place out it has an extremely light consistency not the thicker consistency you find at many gelato places including pazzo. From what I was told there they use organic milk, and many organic ingredients. The color of the gelato’s were pretty natural not that fluorescent green crap you see at many gelato places it’s definitely one of the better gelato places I’ve had in LA.

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  1. We like Nice Cream on Abbot Kinney a lot. The gelato is on the less-fatty side - this is what we like about it. Let me qualify this as I'm not a gelato expert but have been told numerous times (mainly by Europeans, e.g., Massimo from Massimo's) that gelato is supposed to be unlike ice cream. Lighter, less fat, more about flavor and mouth feel.

    My favorite is their Pistachio, as the lightness of the milk is balanced by the rich nutiness of the ground nuts. I think the standard for pistachio gelato is Bulagarini in Altadena - still haven't been out there, but I know Leo was so obsessed with hitting the right mark with this flavor that he sought out pistachios specifically from Sicily as these to him were the only ones that met his expectations. I don't know if Nice Cream or anyone else will achieve this, but for gelato-on-a-whim on Abbot Kinney in Venice, I'd give it high marks.

    The vanilla gets high marks from me as well. The amount of vanilla beans infused into the gelato gives it a different vanilla profile from that of extracted vanilla essence.

    The Bacia (milk chocolate/hazelnut) tasted very similar to Nutella to me - I'm not a huge fan of the product but my kids love it and loved this version on Bacia.

    I didn't sample the sorbettos but my wife and son did - they enjoyed the one with citrus flavor as well as (I think it was) strawberry-kiwi.

    For three bucks a scoop on Abbot Kinney, it's a bargain. Most on this street wouldn't trouble themselves to pick up a stray five-note on the sidewalk so I'm not going to complain. I also give them high marks for being the "David" that stares down the "Goliath" Pinkberry that breathes out noxious fumes directly next door to them.

    1. Gelato is supposed to taste natural. Based on your review it sounds like they use artificial ingredients. Is this true?

      3 Replies
      1. re: epop

        Some of it tasted natural to me but the bing cherry tasted VERY artificial. I've been to Bulgarini and it is excellent, just above Pazzo IMO. I agree with you bulavinaka the pistachio was good and it definitely tasted less fatty then most gelatos. That said different gelato's are made differently from what i've read, however many recipes call for egg yolks. If thats true i would think they would be just as high in fat content as ice cream. I think it's a myth about gelato being less fattening, perhaps someone with more intimate gelato knowledge can chime in. Nice Creams Gelatos did have a pretty natural color "bing cherry aside" but I can't say they tasted as natural as bulagarini or pazzo.

        1. re: Ben7643

          thx. that's a shame. Like the gelato place on Montana Ave., the place in the Palisades, owners don't seem to realize that there are hordes of people that would frequent these places if they made a natural product. I wish Altadena was closer to this part of town...

          1. re: epop

            Speaking of natural i tried one of the new Hagan Daz flavors called FIVE which all have under 5 ingredients in them no preservatives. I tried the brown sugar, which i think was sugar, milk, brown sugar, vanilla. it was quite good super creamy and a distinct brown sugar taste one of the best store bought ice creams i tried.