HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Bulgarini Gelato Culver City Problem

So its not a real problem more personal issue for me. I went there on Saturday night after a lovely anniversary dinner at Scarpetta. The desserts didn't move us at Scarpetta so we went to Bulgarini.

They were out of the pistachio and they have been for ~2 months. I really wanted the pistachio. The counter person said that they couldn't source the quality of pistachio they wanted. I love Bulgarini even more even though they disappointed me on my anniversary dinner night.

The chocolate with sea salt was delicious - almost like a velvety fudge like quality. It would have been amazing combined with pistachio.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. A nice problem to have in any case...(having to settle for the chocolate with sea salt).

    1. Sorry to hear of your disapointment... but they are EXTRODINARILY picky about those pistachios. I always call ahead....

      --Dommy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dommy

        Good to know. I would have still went over and tried a bunch of different flavors regardless. Mozza is pretty good but its no Bulgarini.

        I really hope they have pistachio before next summer.

      2. Actually, I went to Bulgarini (Alta Dena)about a month or so ago and they did have the pistachio gelato. They made it clear, only 1 scoop per customer, no more. They wanted to ensure as many customers as possible had the opportunity to have it. And on top of that, they only made small batches of it on the weekends.

        It was good, but not what I remembered. Usually, it's a vibrant green color with heavy pistachio flavor. Well, this time it was a bit brown and tasted a bit over roasted/toasted? I almost missed it in the case because it wasn't labeled and certainly didn't look like the pistachio gelato I know them for. I said something at the time, and I got a look like I wasn't the only one who had made such comments.

        Leo had a good supplier in Sicily for some time, but something happened and he wasn't getting the pistachios from that farm any more. Which is why it took so long to obtain a new supplier with Leo's exacting standards. I'm guessing we won't see the pistachio flavor again, hopefully, until next summer...and that's if he can find a worthy supplier...again.

        But it sure as hell doesn't stop me from going and trying everything else they have to offer!

        2 Replies
        1. re: Novelli

          Actually, I went to Bulgarini (Alta Dena)about a month or so ago and they did have the pistachio gelato.
          _______________

          Ahem, it's "Altadena".

          Thank you.

          1. re: Novelli

            FYI: Spent a month in Florence in 2009 and had gelato three times a day. Pistacchi (Italian for pistachio) is usually a yellowish-brown, not green, at least in Italy. I think the green in the US is usually done with food coloring.

          2. Leo is an absolute perfectionist.

            Look, he's no idiot - Leo knows pistachio is a huge favorite flavor amongst his loyal fanbase. BUT he's willing to not serve ANY pistachio for months on end if he cannot procure raw ingredients which are up to his exacting standards. This is basically the synopsis of my conversation with Leo about a year back.

            14 Replies
            1. re: J.L.

              And thank god he is.

              Would you want to pay something like $4 a scoop for California pistachios. Gack!

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I've been trying to source Sicilian, not Turkish from my suppliers and it's been difficult if not impossible to get. Wish I had purchased the motherlode last year.

                1. re: revets2

                  are sicilian pistachios generally regarded as superior to turkish pistachios?

                  1. re: linus

                    Yup. Not even a close second. That being said, Cali pistachios are typically no match for the Turkish. Market prices appropriately reflect that. Best California's I've had are from Avila Farms.

              2. re: J.L.

                I thought it was more like $7.50 for a tiny double scoop.

                And his wife is very easy on the eyes too.

                1. re: kevin

                  $6.00 for a double scoop in Culver City. The scoops were more generous here compared to Altadena.

                  1. re: js76wisco

                    Last couple of times that I went, both locations, it was $2.50/scoop with a 3 scoop minimum.

                    1. re: sel

                      Exactly, so it came out to $7.50 for what amount to a regular, tiny scoop (the three tiny scoops was roughly the volume of one Fosselman's scoop).

                      1. re: kevin

                        I wonder how the scoops from Bulgarini and Fosselman's would compare if you weighed them? This might be an apples and oranges comparison.

                        Gelato (Leo's especially) has a lot less air than traditionally churned ice cream (notably Fosselman's). By weight, volume being equal, your scoop at Bulgarini probably outweighs Fosselman's. Next time we're by, we'll purchase vanilla and chocolate for a comparison. This is why we prefer to purchase these frozen desserts by weight rather than volume. Compare a pint of Sweet Rose to Carmella to Sprinkles and Fosselman's. Compare a pint that's been well hand-packed versus filled from the machine. All pretty different.

                        Also, like most ice cream, Fosselman's base for both ice cream and sorbet contains gums to enhance texture. The texture you get from Bulgarini product is from technique, not additives. Most but not all the fruit ice creams and sorbets at Fosselman's are not from freshly macerated fruit (usually a base). Honestly, I was pretty shocked to hear their sorbets contained gums. Cream and milk are pretty different too though Leo keeps changing his up.

                        Both are good product, but not sure if this is a fair comparison. Hope that helps you to sit on the benches outside both shops and enjoy both Bulgarini and Fosselman's for what they do.

                        Thanks alot, kevin, now I'm craving Fosselman's Peppermint. Will need another session on the treadmill. It's so worth it!

                        1. re: revets2

                          My apologies, I think I meant "weight" or "volume" interchangeably.

                          Shoot, I think I got my weights and measures incorrect.

                          1. re: kevin

                            No apologies needed here. Just thought you'd like to know...and I always feel better when I don't feel like I've overpaid!

                        2. re: kevin

                          What Kevin said:

                          >>Exactly, so it came out to $7.50 for what amount to a regular, tiny scoop (the three tiny scoops was roughly the volume of one Fosselman's scoop).

                          What Kevin meant to say:

                          >>Exactly, so it came out to $100 for what amount to a regular Shunji lunch special (the three tiny servings of tuna was roughly the volume of one serving of Todai's AYCE tuna plate).

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Better than knowing the cost of everything is knowing the taste of the right thing...

                            1. re: Servorg

                              What Servorg said:

                              >>Better than knowing the cost of everything is knowing the taste of the right thing...

                              What Servorg should've said:

                              >>Better than knowing the cost of everything is knowing the taste of the delicious thing...