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Feb 25, 2011 01:21 PM


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.

    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'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.