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6 great places for food lovers in Altadena

Los Angeles Times – View Online

Due north of Pasadena and pushed up against the San Gabriels, Altadena always seems farther away from Los Angeles than it actually is — maybe because of the looming mountains, or maybe because its unincorporated status gives it an outlier feel. In recent years, it’s become home to a DIY crowd, which has brought a lovely farmers market and a tiny but burgeoning food scene, inspired in no small part by the Institute of Domestic Technology, which until recently ran out of Altadena’s Zane Grey Estate. Between new bakeries and old alehouses, it’s a great neighborhood for a ristretto and a croissant, a shopping trip and a cup of stellar gelato. Here are six of our favorite haunts.

Bulgarini Gelato — Leo Bulgarini’s gelataria is like the end of an L.A. treasure hunt. Way up at the top edge of Altadena, at the back of a dilapidated parking lot, behind some construction next to a Rite Aid, and at the end of a courtyard, you’ll finally find the gelato store. Since 2007, the Rome-born ex-sommelier has made the best gelato in town here, serving flavors such as goat’s milk-cacao nib, blood orange, chocolate and salt, yogurt and olive oil. During World Cup season, he shows the Italian games; during the summer he shows obscure Italian movies outside against the building wall. And a few years ago, he installed a marble altar to his copper Elektra espresso maker. 749 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena (626) 791-6174bulgarinigelato.com.