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BBE Editor's Pick

Bulgarini Gelato

(two locations) 8686 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City   map , 749 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena   map

Bulgarini Gelato
By Carole Dixon
Sculptor, photographer, and sommelier Leo Bulgarini hails from Rome and brings his love for gelato to his namesake café, located on a sleepy strip in Culver City. Leo travels to Sicily for pistachios, Madagascar for vanilla, and Kona for coffee, all to make his irresistably dense and creamy gelato, which the LA Times rated best in the city and called “crazy good.” He macerates freshly picked fruit for up to a week, and churns out unique flavors like Gorgonzola and goat cheese with cocoa nibs; custard with Marsala wine; Florentine chocolate with sea salt; and pear with Moscato sorbetto. While the seasonal gelatos in the front window display are the big draw, don’t miss the array of offerings further in: Cheeses like La Tur from Piedmont in Italy, black and white truffle butter, cured pork-cheek, and charcuterie products—along with sandwiches and house-made pasta—are available in the back case for take home purchase. So pull up a wooden chair and add a flavored ice-tea to your order—they serve over 20 loose-leaf varieties.

menu musts

Gelato (all flavors, especially Sicilian almond)
Pasta with meat and tomato sauce
Salami sandwich on pretzel bread
Italian wedding soup
Caprese sandwich
Affogato (gelato topped with espresso)

... on the side

the crowd
Mostly young locals and commuters from the nearby studios who are happy to watch the handmade pasta dough being stretched, rolled out, dried, and cut right on the front counter.

beans to spill
Leo will be pairing wines with his gelato this Labor Day weekend at the LA Times Taste with Jonathan Gold, and subsequently at the Culver City location for one night only. (Check the website for exact date and time.) This will be an on-going special event, occurring every few months.

decibels
Low to medium.

hours

Altadena: Mon-Thurs 11AM-10PM; Fri-Sat 10AM-11:30PM; Sun 10PM-10PM
Culver City: Mon-Tues 7:30AM-6PM; Wed-Thurs 7:30AM-9PM; Fri 7:30AM-11PM; Sat 10:30PM-11PM; Sun 12PM-9PM

price range

$6 (small gelato) to $10.50 (pasta)

(two locations) 8686 W. Washington Blvd. (between Helms Ave. and Caroline Ave.), Culver City, CA 90232; 310-815-1723   map     749 E. Altadena Dr., Altadena, CA 91001; 626-791-6174   map     www.bulgarinigelato.com $


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