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Where in L.A. County may one find the best Affogato? I realize that there are variations thematically on this perfect end to a meal, but in addition to Il Fornaio, where are some wonderful cups to be savored? -JET

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  1. I love this dessert.

    Try Drago Centro in downtown LA or Valentino in Santa Monica.

    For a totally untraditional take on affogato, try the one served at KindKreme, which I posted about earlier. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/767545

    Hope this helps.

    Drago Centro
    525 S. Flower St., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90071

      1. Can't quite understand the question. Affogato is traditionally simply a scoop of vanilla ice cream over which a shot of espresso is poured. Sure you can use chocolate or even coffee ice cream, can add whipped cream or even amaretto or sambuca, but these are variants on the basic simple vanilla ice cream + espresso recipe. There's no secret or magic to this recipe. Any Italian restaurant should be able to make a proper affogato...we have it at home all of the time. What do you mean by the "best" affogato?

        10 Replies
        1. re: josephnl

          Proper and best are often, sadly, not the same.

          Proper affogato can be made with supermarket vanilla ice cream and espresso from a can. That's proper, but certainly not the best.

          You want good rich vanilla, maybe even gelato. I prefer it with real vanilla bean in my ice cream. And, of course, I would good fresh brewed espresso made properly from a real espresso machine.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            I guess what I meant was that there is really little or no magic or skill required to make a proper or even outstanding affogato. Two excellent ingredients...espresso and ice cream is all that it takes. This is true for so much of cooking. Sure, many dishes require considerable skill to perfect, but with superb ingredients those of us (like me) without professional training can still put simple, but nevertheless wonderful food on the table!

            1. re: josephnl

              I guess what I meant was that there is really little or no magic or skill required to make a proper or even outstanding affogato. Two excellent ingredients...espresso and ice cream is all that it takes.

              That might be the classic understatement when it comes to good cooking.

              Sort of like saying all you need for diamonds are a lump of coal and lots of pressure, right?


              1. re: ipsedixit

                The list of restaurants that serve even passable espresso is very short, combine that with the list who have good ice creme, and I see a problem with finding good affogato.
                These happen to be two things one can find quite easily in Italy, especially the coffee.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  What good cooking is involved in making a excellent affogato...it's just excellent ingredients! My cooking skills are not extraordinary, nevertheless we have imho excellent affogato at home regularly.

                  1. re: josephnl

                    Actually making a outstanding espresso requires not only good equipment and ingredients but excellent skills and experiences. It's very rare anywhere to get a really outstanding espresso (and therefore an outstanding affogato). There are perhaps 3-4 places in LA were we yet had an outstanding espresso

                    1. re: honkman

                      And besides the coffee shops, not one of the restaurants in this thread have ever made me even a decent espresso.

                    2. re: josephnl

                      Why are you so upset about this? Of course it can be made at home. I can make pizza at home too but that doesn't mean I don't love to discuss where the best is. And the others are right—it's not as easy as you say. I've had affogati where it was made for me and melted by the time it was served. I've had places use non-standard ice cream flavours. I've had it with dramatically over-extracted coffee.

                      Yes, it's two ingredients, but we're about the best here and I'd be interested to find out where that intersection of great gelato and great espresso can be found.

                      For my part, though it's not in LA County, I love it at Cafe Lucca (NOT Lucca Cafe) in the Orange Circle.

                      —DU, currently in the Veneto, which is the worldwide intersection of great gelato and great coffee

                      Cafe Lucca
                      106 N Glassell St, Orange, CA 92866

                      Lucca Restaurant
                      1636 N Cahuenga Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        "Yes, it's two ingredients..." - I would argue that often the dishes/preparations with just a few ingredients are the most difficult ones to make really good since it requires outstanding ingredients and skills. One could argue (and I know it's oversimplified) that it is easier with dishes with many different ingredients to "hide" lower quality ingredients or skills. Pasta might be a good example, very few ingredients but you rarely get served excellent freshly made pasta.

            2. We were first introduced to the affogato at Angelini Osteria, and it was delicious. But realizing how simple it is (as josephnl pointed out) we just make it at home whenever we are craving it.

              Angelini Osteria
              7313 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

              1. The best affogato I've had was at Bulgarini, but only when Leo pulls the shot. I also like the affogato at Intelligentsia Pasadena. I've never managed to forgo the butterscotch budino at Mozza to try their affogato.

                1. They also have Affogato at LAMill in Silverlake and at Intelligentsia Venice.

                  1. Pizzeria Mozza
                    Little Dom's

                    Little Dom's
                    2128 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                    Pizzeria Mozza
                    641 N. Highland Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    1. The Gelato Bar and Espresso Caffé on Tujunga Ave. in Studio City combines some of the best espresso in the city with some of the finest gelato. It's not really a restaurant (though it does have some panini and other savories).

                      1 Reply
                      1. Try the one at LAMill or Intelligentsia in Venice

                        1. This is beginning to sound like the "best hamburger in L.A." thread.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mnosyne

                            Did someone say Best Burgers, well let me me chime in with my 2 cents..............

                            1. re: mnosyne

                              Seriously, the affogato at Gelato Bar is excellent!

                            2. Culina

                              300 S Doheny Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                              1. Thanks to all for your enlightening answers.. Joseph, my question was very clear & direct.. Obviously what is the "best" is highly subjective , & the balance of ingriedients may be played with, but I wanted to hear of venues from others who also adore AFFOGATO, & I did! I must say though, that after a visit from my European coffee-loving dad, I have been reborn with the gift of a Nespresso Cytyz Espresso Machine. I was really not a basic coffee or Espresso drinker a week ago, and this has opened-up a whole new gourmet love for me! Our latest family "party game" was the trying & rating of two new flavors each day on a scale from 1-10. We are both smitten with the following "tens"; Capriccio, Livantno, Dulsao, & Ristretto. What are favorites of others of you cognocenti? After this, we will rarely, if ever, go to a coffee place again here in the U.S. I have already made us AFFOGATOS at home with the Ristretto (intensity of 10) over Dolce' & Ciao Bella Vanilla Gelato with a dash of heavy "Mit Schlag"/ Whipped Cream from my Isi-Maker NIRVANA /MICHAYA/ BLISS/ HEAVEN/ OH YEAH.......................JET

                                Ciao Bella
                                1630 Spruce St, Riverside, CA 92507

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Jet

                                  Jet, you have to get rid of the Nespresso before a serious discussion of coffee can begin.

                                  1. re: Jet

                                    I've stayed in hotels with Nespresso machines. It's better than that angry water that gets dispensed from the poor American cousin called the Keurig machine, and sadly in some cases it's better than an espresso shot from a place that doesn't know what they're doing (Peet's, I am LOOKING AT YOU), but...

                                    ...you are in for a world of happy discoveries of espresso pulled the way it should be. There are many great coffeeshops in LA that will blow your Nespresso away for just a buck or two. Consider the Nespresso a gateway drug. :)

                                    Oh, and a double espresso with whipped cream is a speciality of Viennese coffeehouses, called an Einspänner ("INE-shpen-ner"). Good stuff.

                                    Did you ever find the affogato you wanted?

                                  2. Pazzo Gelato in Silver Lake. Handmade gelato and Intelligentsia Coffee.

                                    Intelligentsia Coffee
                                    445 N Rossmore Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: graphika

                                      Very good gelato. They can't pull a decent espresso though,

                                      1. re: cls

                                        Following the thought that an affogato is simply the combination of two outstanding ingredients: well, erm, Pazzo does make great gelato and crap espresso. But it IS across the street from Intelligentsia. So there is nothing stopping an enterprising human being from buying a scoop of vanilla gelato at Pazzo, walking across the street, getting an espresso shot, and dumping. I wonder how the Intelligentsia dudes would react?

                                        I sort of want to go do this right now.

                                        1. re: Thi N.

                                          Given how uppity they are normally, I'd love to see this. Especially with their fancy-@$$ special espresso of the day.

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                            Those guys make good gelato but they are so full of themselves. I have seen them let people sit and eat inside with dogs and when I said something they blew me off saying the person is a regular. Next time I might call the Health Dept.!

                                            1. re: Burger Boy

                                              Oh, at Pazzo? I've never been there. I was talking about Intelligentsia.

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                                So Thi, I suggest maybe a St Bernard to shepherd gelato across the street to Intelligentsia and then return to Pazzo for your 'bliss' without hassle.

                                          2. re: Thi N.

                                            BTW, one of the baristas told me that there were plans to serve affogato at the Silverlake location.

                                            It's been about 6 months since he told me that so I hope it's still in the works.

                                      2. I'm a bit late to this party (no surprise there), but Bean Town makes a really good one using Fosselman's ice cream and their own house espresso roast. Only drawback (if that's the word) is that they're so generous with the ice cream that you might want to call for a triple shot to keep things in balance.

                                        Bean Town
                                        45 N Baldwin Ave, Sierra Madre, CA 91024

                                        1 Reply