LA Weekly – View Online
There’s a reason Bulgarini Gelato is a perennial topper on Best Gelato lists, our own and others. While other gelaterias do a superb job of capturing the essence of a particular flavor, Bulgarini somehow captures the flavor itself. Nowhere is this more true than their pistachio gelato.
Since opening their shop in sleepy Altadena in 2007, husband and wife team Leo Bulgarini and Elizabeth Foldi have won much deserved raves for their gelato. They make it the old fashioned way, having apprenticed with a third-generation, octogenarian gelato maker in Sicily. They don’t skimp on the dairy, using milk from Broguiere’s Dairy in Montebello. They rigorously source the fruits, nuts and other flavorings that go into their gelato, which brings us back to their pistachios, which have taken on the scope of legend, sun-bronzed and flown all the way from Bronte, a Sicilian town near Mount Etna.
Everything, without qualification, at Bulgarini is excellent — a floral, mellow yellow peach vs. a deeper, more concentrated white peach; banana so creamy it might be butter; intensely fragrant mango sorbet — but the pistachio gelato tastes somehow like an entire grove of pistachio trees has been crushed and condensed into a single, aromatic scoop of golf ball sized gelato. It’s dense, creamy, nutty, earthy and without parallel in the city of L.A.
Nothing is cheap at Bulgarini. A single, which allows you to taste three flavors, costs $6 plus another 50¢ if you want pistachio. (Here’s where the “increasingly interconnected world economy” trickles down into the dead pool of rising food costs.) Is it worth it? “Worth it” doesn’t even begin to describe Bulgarini.